Friday, November 26, 2010

With Deepest Apologies

I feel compelled to offer my sincerest apologies to those of you who faithfully follow this blog. As many of you know, my life has been unsettled for the past couple of months. Out of necessity, I'm now living with my older sister and her family and, because of circumstances I won't go into, I don't have access to my computer at this time. I know it's been a very long time since I've offered my readers anything new. However, I had a play date today and the gentleman very graciously offered me the use of his computer in order to catch up on things. Boy, did I have a lot to catch up on! I had 875 emails in my AOL mailbox, many, many messages in my Fetlife inbox and several friendship requests. I have managed to get everything caught up but lest you think that today was only about being on the computer, I offer the following photo for your enjoyment:

Today has been a day to catch up on things, including the spankings that I have been going without lately. Although trips up north for Crimson Moon and Our Need And Desire parties did a lot towards making up for lost time in that area, too.

I want my readers to know that this laps wasn't due to laziness or disinterest. It was just me not having access to my computer. When I get myself settled somewhere permanent, then please know that regular entries will be forthcoming. Again, my sincerest apologies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cardinal Red

Most of the people who know me (even those who don't know me well) know that I'm a die hard St. Louis Cardinal fan. I've been a fan for as long as I can remember. My dad packed us up and took us to our first game in the summer of 1964. Cigi and I were three years old. Can you imagine driving for five hours with twin three year olds? My mother was at home with my older sister and brother, both of whom were down with something; don't ask me what. The game was against the Los Angeles Dodgers and was held at the old Sportsman's Park. Then, as now, baseball managers liked to set the rotation so that their best guy was pitching when the other team's best guy was pitching. The Cardinals had their ace on the mound, the imposing and intimidating Bob Gibson. The Dodgers started with Sandy Koufax, who was maybe the best left handed pitcher of his time (or any time). Unfortunately, I have no conscious memory of this game. It's enough for me to know that I stood in the same ballpark with such greatness. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series that year, beating the Yankees. Cardinal broadcaster, Mike Shannon, still lists his home run off of Whitey Ford (the Chairman of the Board) as one of the highlights of his career. After attending my first game, I was hooked. My dad patiently taught me the rules and also how to keep score. Back then, very few games were on television. You mostly heard games on the radio. It's one of my sweetest memories; sitting at the table eating ice cream while a game played on the radio and my dad cleaned his golf clubs. I developed a lifelong love of Cardinal baseball and their great players and traditions. Now don't panic. Among all this baseball talk, I will get to the spanking portion of this entry, I promise.
Over the years, I began to investigate my spanking kink. Oh not actively, of course. I was still too young for that. But I began to have spanking fantasies about some of the players, all of whom were older than I was back then. One of my first was Tommy Herr, the second baseman for the 1982 World Series champions. Tommy was just a doll in my eyes and had a stern sort of countenance that I found very exciting. When the Cardinals won the World Series, Tommy was a 27-year-old cutie. His position was second base and he played it to the hilt. I can still remember the post game footage of that World Series: there was Tommy (whom my sisters and I had given the nickname "Sweet Cheeks") waving his jersey and with his glove tucked into the waistband of his pants.
I kind of remember thinking it was odd that I didn't imagine what it would be like to make love to him. I thought about what it would be like to be spanked my him. At the time, I was trying to get my boyfriend to spank me and he refused. Oh, Tommy, where are you now?
The years progressed and my spanking fantasies continued unabated. Even though the players were now my age and even a little younger, I still thought about it. Oh don't get me wrong. I still cared if they won or not. I was still glued to my television (when they were on) or my radio (when they weren't). For some reason, over the years, my spanking fantasies have been confined to pitchers. I think it's probably because most pitchers these days are big guys and I have a thing for tall guys--mostly because they have nice laps. The Cardinals always seemed to have their share of big, strong pitchers. I had spanking fantasies about another Cardinal pitcher later, in the late 90's. His name was Matt Morris and I once saw a picture of him with a Space Ghost T-shirt on that said "Don't Force Me To Use The Spank-Ray" on it.
Matt, or Matty Mo as he was better known to fans, might just be one of us. Who else but a spanko would wear a T-shirt like that? I mentioned in my "Celebrating Life" entry that my nurses knew what the "whole house looked like". The first person I heard use that phrase was Matty. He was being interviewed on TV and he was going to be flying back to St. Louis for shoulder surgery the next day and he was asked about it. Matty was one that I thought for sure would probably spank a girl. He stayed with the Cardinals for six years until he was traded to Pittsburgh. It was one of the saddest days of my life when he was traded. I knew it was time to concentrate on someone else now. I found him pretty quickly, but not in a pitcher. My next "spanking fantasy guy" was a catcher named Mike Matheny (another guy with MM initials...hmmmm). Mike had a reputation for being tough and no-nonsense. He didn't coddle pitchers like many catchers do. He wasn't the type of catcher to spend a lot of time visiting the mound either. His specialty was throwing out anyone incautious enough to try to steal a base off him.When he caught Matty Mo, he sometimes had to slow him down because he liked to pitch fast; just get the ball back and throw the next pitch. Sometimes, he wouldn't even wait for the sign. He would throw. And then Mike would peel his mask off and glare at him. I actually got to meet Mike in 2004 when a spanko friend and I attended a game in St. Louis. It was September and the Cardinals had a chance to clinch the division that day. I'd spent the previous night (it was an afternoon game) being tawsed by the guy I'd come with. Anyway, we got there way early and sat and watched batting practice. So many people were there, already cheering and chanting loudly, that they decided to open the wagon gate (the door to the bullpen) and let us out on the warning track (the dirt area that lets an outfielder know that he's about run out of real estate and hit the wall) to meet the players. The pitchers stayed in the dug out but most of the other players came out to meet us. Now Mike is a Christian, a quiet unassuming guy who would rather talk about his wife, Kristin and their kids than about his own accomplishments. Anyway, he put his hand out for me to shake and I was awestruck. He had the hardest hand I've ever felt. Thus, a spanking fantasy took hold. After the Division Series, Mike got a hunting knife as a gift and wasted no time in slicing his palm open, so we didn't have him for the Playoffs or the World Series. That put a series of events into motion and the Cardinals didn't resign him. Again, I was heart broken to see him go off to San Fransisco to finish his career.
The following year, the Cardinals signed a left-handed pitcher who had previously played for the Oakland Athletics. Cigi told me he was a "babe" and showed me a pitcher of him. I never doubted her again once I got a glimpse of the oh-so-hot Mark Mulder (again with the Double M's).
Now I know it's hard to tell from this picture, but trust me, Mark was a dyed-in-the-wool babe. The real deal. At 6'9" he was one of the tallest players in the game. Like most left handed pitchers, Mark was a flake. He had the quirky personality that most lefties have. My fantasies about him started when I saw him scold a female reporter for asking a question he felt was out of bounds (because it didn't happen on the baseball diamond). Oh my...hello, Mark. Because of the way he pitched, line drives often came right back at him. He once took a line drive off the bat of one of the National League's hardest hitters right in the ass and later, jokingly gave his post game interview standing up. I still have that game on tape and that hit had to have stung. Mark was such a hunk that he sometimes did some modeling during the off-season. Unfortunately, Mark didn't last too long. He was often injured and the last one ended his career. Oh, I was sorry to see him go. He fed a lot of my spanking fantasies while he was in St. Louis.
With the departure of Mark Mulder, I soon found another pitcher to concentrate on. It was Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals' Cy Young winning pitcher. I've described him in another post as a man of few words. He just has this special quality that thrills me. Last month, he got suspended for two games for participating in a bench clearing brawl. He plays to win and is a gritty competitor. However, he cleans up nice.Mike Matheny also caught Chris in 2004. When those two worked together, my little spanko brain worked overtime. Chris another big, strong pitcher, one of many the Cardinals have had over the years. However, Carp is special. He's one of the most dominant right handers in the game. Even though he's now 35, his skills haven't diminished noticeably. It might take him longer to warm up and he might have to exercise more in order to keep in shape, but then who doesn't? I know that Chris can't pitch forever. I will have to find someone else to fantasize about. Most of the guys who play now are young enough to be my nephew (and some are young enough to be my son). I wonder if I will ever close the book on my spanking fantasies that involve baseball? There is one guy that might fit the bill. He's an outfielder and pretty hunky.
Matt Holliday came to the Cardinals last year at the trade deadline. I was attracted to him from the very beginning. Look how small that baseball looks in his hand. He's a genial guy and usually has a smile on his face. Plus look at those thighs. It looks like he has a very sturdy lap.
I guess time will tell if I continue to fantasize about Cardinal players. I've done it for so long that I don't know if I could stop, no matter how young the players get. That's the fun of fantasy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Spanking Life

Yesterday's post really got me thinking about my past. I look at pictures of myself as a teenager and as a young woman and I just have to shake my head. That girl just doesn't exist anymore. But, if we're being honest, how many of us can say we're the same people we were thirty or more years ago? I'm sure not. I've changed in ways that are incalculable and mostly for the better. I owe most of it to my upbringing. I think I pretty much hit the jackpot when it came to the kind of parents I got. I didn't see this at the time, though. At the time, I was envious of many of my friends, whose parents were better off than mine. I was envious that they got to do things my strict mom and dad just wouldn't allow. My girlfriends got to dress way more provocatively than I did. My dad often made sure we "passed inspection" before we left for school--dresses not too short, shirts not cut too low, no make up, etc. Once, when I protested these inspections because my brother was never subjected to them, my dad's answer was a curt "Boys don't end up with a fat belly." My dad had three daughters and he knew he faced a tough battle. The 70's were a time when a lot of kids, mostly ones from good homes like mine, were throwing off the conventions of their parents. My dad knew that even a good kid like me could end up in trouble. My mother and father both were determined that we were going to grow up to be good, solid citizens. This photo of me, with some of my mother's irises, was taken on May 25, 1979 according to the note on the back. It was taken the day before I graduated from high school. The road was wide open back then. I had my whole life ahead of me, which my mother often told me. The funny thing is, at about this time, I had a boyfriend who loved to photograph me. I think he took this photo. I had been trying for almost a year to get him to spank me. I'd tried everything, including come right out and telling him that was what I wanted. He was 20 at the time and a college boy. "Your dad did that to you" he told me. "I didn't know you were a psychology major," I quipped. "I thought you were majoring in business?" "I am," he said as we stood in my mother's pantry (for privacy). "Well then why don't you mind your own?" I asked. Now think about that ridiculous situation. I was trying to get him to spank me and at the same time, I didn't want him to analyze the reasons why I wanted one. To my shock, and with strength I didn't know he had, he grabbed me and bent me over at the waste. At the last minute, he lost his nerve and stood me back up. I was breathing hard, but not because of my asthma. I was about as turned on as I had ever been in my life. Then the prize was snatched away. He turned on his heel without even saying goodbye and left. The following week, he broke up with me. I couldn't understand why I wanted him to spank me. I had hated my dad's spankings as a child. But I did commit some thoughts to my diary that night, making my first attempt to confront my kinky side. I wondered what was the matter with me. Why couldn't I just be a normal girl? Of course, outwardly, I was. I could never be sure if this ex-boyfriend ever told anyone about my need to get spanked. I had no problem replacing him though. I wasn't promiscuous, mind you. I was just a normal, hot blooded girl.

This photo was taken in June, 1977 at my grandparents' place in Missouri. They had retired there in the early 70's. My grandfather built their beautiful home on Table Rock Lake. In the photo, I'm sitting on my grandfather's woodpile, giving the thumbs up. A few days earlier, I was caught by my grandmother necking with a boy on this very woodpile. He was a boy that my grandparents had approved of; a good, clean Christian boy. She was forced to change her mind about him when she caught him with his hand in my shirt and his tongue working my mouth. She was shocked to put it mildly. I think she came pretty close to having her second coronary. I was 16 and he was 17. I was jail bait. My grandfather was told and he reacted predictably. He pulled the kid off of me, took him by the collar and literally booted him off te property with a warning not to come back unless it was to apologize. My parents had gone to Berryville for the day to shop for walnut bowls. But they would have to be told. My grandmother lectured me about the dangers of not valuing my reputation. My grandfather threatened to make my bottom as red as the shirt I was wearing. I couldn't remember him ever laying a hand on me. "I'm not a child," I said. "Well, you're not a grown up either" my grandfather replied. These were my mother's parents. She had been their cherished only child. She'd been slightly spoiled and pampered growing up, but she had never for a moment deviated from the way she was raised. My grandmother was scandalized by the incident. I sat dejectedly on the front porch, waiting for my parents to come back. When their car pulled up, I felt sick to my stomach. I knew my dad would be furious with me. This was the beginning of my rebellious period. When my dad was told about my escapades on the woodpile, he was confused. This was so unlike me (actually, it WAS like was just unlike me to get caught). As I said, I was 16 when this happened and well used to my dad's belt. But he surprised me this time. He made me get over his knee and he used his hard right hand to drive home his point. It was a childish punishment that I highly resented. When I told the boy about it, he was amused. His blue eyes danced with mischief. Good God, I was in love with him. Too bad we were going back to Illinois in five days. He was a country boy and took delight in referring to me as a "spoiled city girl". What? I was a spoiled city girl because I preferred indoor plumbing? Anyway, he actually did come over and apologize to my grandparents for disrespecting their property. My grandfather knew his dad well. I did see him one more time before we left but there was no hanky panky (unfortunately). He was a sweet kid and a great kisser. Those country boys usually are.
It's amazing to me how much spanking has been a part of my life. From the time I could remember, it was present. Either someone was getting it, or it was on TV or I was reading about it in my brother's comic books. I had gotten into the habit by the time I reached my late teens of trying to get my boyfriends to spank me. I just had the feeling it would be fun coming from anyone but my dad.
By the time I was 21 (when this photo was taken) I was quite a bit more experienced where men was concerned. I had learned that most men didn't appreciate subtlety. They needed to be hit over the head with a 2X4. At the time this picture was taken, in March, 1982, I was dating a guy who worked at his dad's auto glass business. I had no idea how much pressure he was under working for his dad, who was very demanding. I had wanted him to spank me for as long as we'd been dating. At that time, Bradley was playing in the NIT (a tournament they would win with a great game at Madison Square Garden) and since the boyfriend was an alum, we got tickets to the games that were played at home. You can just see the little apple sticker on my shirt. Those were sort of like a rallying thing with fans. We'd had a heated argument the day before this photo was taken and, I'm ashamed to say, that he'd blacked my eye with a hard slap. I'm using make up to cover it in the photo. I felt very confused by him. I couldn't get him spank me, but he had no problem hauling off and slapping me in the face hard enough to give me a shiner. I found out later from a mutual friend who also dated him that his father had beaten his mother on a few occasions. I knew I wanted no part of a relationship with a man like that. So I began to think of ways to extricate myself from this situation. I wasn't sure how I felt about him at that point. It's been so many years that I'm not even sure I can remember what I was feeling. I remember a few days later he actually did spank me. But it wasn't the kind I wanted. We'd been invited to a couple of friends' place for a little party to celebrate Bradley's NIT win and we had been to the grocery store to pick up some cold cuts and beer for the party. We actually got into an argument because I wanted to keep the stuff at my house until the party and he asked what was wrong with his place. "Nothing" I said. "Here, take the stuff to your place. Jeese, like I give a shit! You make a production out of everything." He stood there, shocked to inaction, I thought. The look on his face was familiar. I'd seen it right before he'd hauled off a slapped me. I wouldn't say I was afraid. I told him if he ever hit me again, I would knock him on his ass. I was strong from playing sports and I had no doubt I could do it. I had broken the nose of a boy I was dating when I was 19 when he did nothing more than grab my wrist. Anyway, he stood there steaming and said "Are you finished?" I shrugged. I didn't know what he meant by finished. "Just get outta here" I said. "Go and leave me alone. Take that crap with you it means so much to you." Now at this time, I wasn't as big as I am now. But I was still a pretty big girl. I was 5'9" and weighed about 150 at the time. This guy was not small. He was about five inches taller than I was and outweighed me by about 60 pounds. Maybe I wouldn't be able to drop him after all. But I let him know that he was never going to hit me again without me doing something about it. My father had a chair he liked to sit in and it had otoman that matched it. My boyfriend took my arm and marched me over to the ottoman and sat down on it. Then he jerked me over his knee so hard he almost pulled my arm out of the socket. Then he spanked me. "You wanted this, remember" he said as he pummeled me. "Not this way" I said. "Oh I doubt that," he said. "I think this is exactly how you wanted it." So now I was even more confused. The spanking had hurt and I guess I didn't know what to expect. All I had to go on was fantasy. Had I been pushing his buttons? Anyway, he left taking the cold cuts and beer with him. The funny thing is that I still ended up going to the party with him. I made sure no one saw my shiner or found out about the spanking. One of our friends commented on how quiet I was and I was about to say something when he volunteered "Oh, I had to straighten her out a little yesterday. She's still pouting." That NIT party was the last time I saw him. I made up my mind after that to put my spanking needs out of my mind. I figured it wasn't healthy and I didn't enjoy the spanking I'd actually gotten from him. Best just to leave it as a fantasy than to risk that again. Of course, this was long before there was even a spanking scene. I'm sure people spanked each other, but there was no organized scene. It wasn't until I'd given up looking that I actually did receive a spanking that was more in line with what I wanted. In December, 1985, I turned 25 years old. I went to a New Year's Eve party given by some friends I bowled with. When we were bowling that Satruday, we were bowling against a pretty good team. On the team was a married couple named Ben and Norma. Ben was a big left hander who had the nickname Captain Hook because of the way his ball broke when he threw it. He had the biggest hook I'd ever seen. Anyway, they mentioned to me that another couple we bowled with, Jeanette and Dennis, were having a party on New Year's Eve. "Oh, it's my birthday. Sure, I'll go." As soon as Ben heard it was my birthday, he began to taunt me. He said, when I came back from bowling a strike (my forth in a row) he said "I'm going to put you over my knee and spank you in front of everyone." "Sure you are, Ben," I laughed. I noticed that Norma, his wife, didn't like this talk. "He'll get drunk and forget," she assured me. Oh, I hoped not. Anyway, the night of the party came and I got dressed with care, deciding to wear a pair of gray snakeskin pumps I'd been saving for a special occasion.
That's my friend, Jeanette, next to me and the lap belongs to Ben, the man who actually did spank me that night. We'd been eating a lot and drinking a fair amount when someone suggested a game of Trivial Pursuit, still all the rage then. I belonged to a group that played regularly so I was all for it. We played guys against the girls. It was a spirited game and we took it very seriously. However, no one wanted to see the evening disintegrated because of a silly game so we decided there would be no bragging or rubbing it in from the winning team. So a compromise was reached. Dennis, Jeanette's husband, suggested that if the ladies' team lost, the captain of the team (me) would get a spanking by the captain of the other team (Ben). "I already promised her one coz it's her birthday," Ben said. "She'll get spanked either way." The other ladies--Jeanette, Norma and my friend Rhonda--protested. What if the guys lost? "Yeah, think you can handle getting a spanking, Ben?" I asked. No way. The spanking was only for the ladies. If the guys lost? "We'll do the dishes," Dennis volunteered. There was a mountain of them in the kitchen, so of course, the bet was on. Well, it went down to the last question and we lost. It's been 25 years and I still think that Rhonda missed that question on purpose. Who doesn't know that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin? But I was a good sport. I settled myself over Ben's ample lap and he counted out 25 pretty good spanks, plus one for good luck. I had on gray pantie hose under the winter white slacks I was wearing but I still felt it. So did Ben. "You have the hardest ass I've ever felt," he said. "Yeah, my dad said the same thing," I shrugged. "Must be all that horseback riding."
Anyway, that was the last spanking I got for a long time. I remember Norma was sort of looking on with a jealous expression the whole time her husband was spanking me. He was obviously enjoying it. I was 25, young and firm. I so wish I had been getting spanked for fun back then. Oh well...I've made up for lost time. And then some.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Picture Day

In my post yesterday, I related a story about the last time my father spanked me. My post was actually about the situation between Lindsay Lohan and Jerry Lewis. Apparently, the comedy legend thinks that Ms. Lohan could benefit from a good spanking. I told the story to sort of demonstrate the differences between the home I grew up in vs. the way she was raised. First of all, I was raised in the 60's and 70's. It was a vastly different time. Fathers still had final authority in their homes. Jimmy Carter was President. The Bee Gees occupied the top five positions on the American Top Forty. I was 17 that spring of 1978. I had just attended my Junior Prom. You might think I was a little old for a spanking. You might be right about that. However, my dad didn't think so. He was a Marine (I don't say ex-Marine because, as Gibbs often points out on "NCIS", there's no such thing) and he felt perfectly justified in expecting his kids to obey him. Up until my junior year, I had. I had been a perfect kid--and A-B student. Don't let the innocent smile fool you. I was in the middle of a big time rebellious streak. I had let my grade in History (a required course) fall to a low C because I hated the teacher. That had never been a problem before. I was listening to KISS music, which really worried my parents. I was also beginning to drink and smoke pot at this time. However, my parents saw this for what it was--my attempt to show them that I was going to make my own decisions from now on. They didn't sit around wringing their hands and wondering what they had done wrong. My dad was very no-nonsense about the whole thing. He told me "You'll either snap out of it or get tired of standing up all the time." I was determined to tough him out and he was just as determined to reign me in. To do this, he used his favorite weapon, the leather belt from his Marine Corps uniform. Here's a pic of my mother and dad when he was on leave. Yes, that's THE belt he's wearing.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not going to start crying about how bad I had it under my dad's roof growing up. I knew I was loved by both he and my mother. It was just a different time. I think my mother was very wise. She knew that the less of a big deal they made out of my little rebellion the quicker it would pass. My dad had other ideas. He knew I was smart; probably the smartest of all his kids. He didn't want me throwing away a a chance to make something of myself. As a Marine he'd learned to value honor. What did it say about me when I was lying, stealing and drinking under age? I remember him once standing in front of me, hands on hips, trying to talk some sense into me while I sat there at the table looking bored. By this time, I was smoking cigarettes (a habit I would continue until I was 45), having sex with boys I hardly knew, ditching school and, when I was caught, ditching detention. In fact, my dad knew I'd had a detention on this particular night and demanded to know why I wasn't at school serving it. That's what had precipitated the little pow wow with Dad. He wasn't the kind to beg or try to make me feel guilty about it by telling me how hard he was working. What he did was lay it out for me. There would be no more cutting class. I was to bring that History grade back up to a B (at least). I was to stop listening to "that God forsaken" KISS. I was going to buckle down and keep my nose to the grindstone. Six months previously, I had been so enthusiastic about my grades that I had been gunning for early graduation the following year. "You're gonna settle down and fly right," he said, shaking his finger at me for emphasis. "Before you blow the whole thing." He knew my life's ambition was to be a writer. I'd wanted to work as a newspaper writer from the moment I knew that such things existed. I remember how he sighed heavily (as he usually did when he was really steamed) and paced back and forth in front of me. I looked at my feet, trying any way I knew to avoid having to look at him. I knew, deep down, he was right. He was always right. "I know one thing for sure," he went on. "You're grounded, young lady, until that C comes up. You can do better than that." I opened my mouth to protest, but he shook his head at me, indicating that it would be wise for me to keep my mouth shut until he was done talking. "I mean it. You're not leaving this house except to go to school. You're gonna learn to snap shit!" "Snap shit" is a Marine Corps expression. It means to stop messing around and start doing what you're supposed to be doing. He sat down next to me and said "Do you think life gets easier when you get older? It doesn't. It gets harder. It's a lot harder without a high school diploma." "I'll get my diploma!" I snapped. "You make a C sound like the end of the world." "When your brother would get C's I'd be happy," he told me. "But you're better than that. You think I want you waiting tables your whole life? You're gonna get that C up, little girl. And you're gonna stop cutting class and ditching detention. If you get another one for ditching this one, then you're gonna serve 'em both. You're gonna take what you've got coming. You hear me?" Boy, did I hear him. Then he left for work. Three nights later, I snuck out of the house and stole his bottle of Jim Beam. I knew, even as I was doing it, that it was wrong. I had a very strong conscience back then and still do. I sat glumly at the park with my friend, Lucy as we emptied the bottle. "My dad's gonna skin me alive," I told her. She had known me a long time and knew my dad well. "Yep, when he finds out, I wouldn't be you for nothing." Some friend. The previous year, Cigi had wanted to go to Chicago with her boyfriend, Tony to see KISS. They were playing the Aragon Ballroom that winter of 1977. Dad said absolutely no way. "You're too young!" Long story short, they went anyway. They would have made it back in time but Tony's car, a small red Datsun, broke down on the way home and Cigi had no choice but to call and ask someone to come and get her. Dad sent my brother. I can still remember him tossing my brother the keys and telling me "Go with him." I was terrified. My brother drove too fast and would race anyone, no matter how slight the provocation. Before we left, Dad handed me a $50 bill. "Tony will need money to get his car towed. Give this to him." He knew if he gave it to my brother, he would spend it on pot. My brother was 18 at the time, 15 months older than Cigi and I. Tony gave my brother good directions on where they were and we found them with no problem. Both of them were drunk. "Dad's gonna kill you" our brother told Cigi knowingly. Brother offered to take Tony home so that he wouldn't have to face Dad. When we got home, it was about 4 o'clock in the morning. Dad had been up all day and he was mad. As mad as I'd ever seen him. He was waiting for us when we came piling in. He'd whittled a switch, which he held in his right hand. He looked at me and my brother. "You two, get to bed." Grateful that everyone was home safe, I went to bed. Dad drove a lesson home to Cigi with that maple switch. I could hear it in my room with the door shut. I never heard a sound out of her though. She was tough. When she came to bed, she vomited into the trash can and fell into bed still in her jeans and black KISS T-shirt. Alcoholism would haunt her until she was 27, when she went sober.

Even though I despised being disciplined by him, I knew he did everything out of love for us. He would have walked through fire for us and protected us with his life if he had to. Next to my mother, we were the most important things in his life. He made sure that we knew we were loved. He would never refuse to hug us or let us sit on his lap. Some of my happiest memories of him was sitting on his lap after I had just gotten out of the tub. I would have wet hair and my pajamas on and I would sit close to him, him teasing me about my freckles. He would always start to count them and make a great show of losing count. God, I loved that man.

I feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan, who recently sent a letter to her father via her lawyer. It was a cease and desist letter telling him to stop trying to contact her. That's the saddest thing I can think of; for a girl to hate her father so much. If he had disciplined her when she was young, if he had established his authority in his home (in a loving way and not as a tyrant), she would have felt that sense of security that I had growing up. All the acting out and crying for attention would never have happened. I wouldn't trade places with her for anything.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Does Lindsay Need A Spanking?

The two people pictured here are separated by 60 years in age. The young lady on the left has made a career out of being a troubled young actress. The man on the right has a career that has spanned more than 50 years. He's not only a talented comedian, but also a great humanitarian, whose Labor Day Telethon has raised billions for kids with muscular dystrophy. So why are they suddenly linked in the press? Allow me to enlighten you.

Jerry Lewis, in preparation for his yearly telethon, was being interviewed by Inside Edition. The talk was general at first. What did he think of today's young stars? He responded like a lot of old men might. These kids don't know who Al Jolson was. They don't have any respect for the people who came before them and paved the road for them. Then, the interviewer mentioned Lindsay Lohan. Lewis' answer was an honest one. A bit too honest for some. He said, quite candidly, that he was smack her in the mouth if he saw her. He said he would probably get arrested for abusing a woman. Then he added that if she wasn't satisfied with a mere smack in the mouth, he would turn her over his knee and spank her and then send her off to rehab.

I didn't see the interview so I don't know how the interviewer responded to this. I heard the story on a local afternoon radio talk show. The interviewer was a man who spun records as a disc jockey back in the 70's. Now he's a conservative talk show host. He took calls, as he always does, and of course, the good people of Peoria are backing the old man. At first, there was the usual amount of laughing between the host and his producer. But it soon turned serious. Did the listeners think this was too outrageous or does Jerry have a point?

Here's my personal opinion on this issue. Since this is my blog, I don't have to be careful not to offend anyone. I think Lindsay should have been seen to years ago, preferably by a big, strong male relative. Of course, this begs the question of whether it's appropriate for an 84-year-old man to advocate spanking a 24-year-old woman. My opinion is that I'm sick and tired of hearing about Lindsay Lohan. Whatever she does wrong, she goes to court, gets her slap on the wrist, whines about how unfair the world is, and then goes right out and does whatever it was that got her in trouble in the first place. I've seen far too many photos of her tripping drunkenly out of a club surrounded by her posse. Her movies aren't good and she's not a good actress. She should have been relegated to a reality series years ago. Surely, there are nice, decent, clean living actresses out there who are worthy of some ink. Why do the tabloids concentrate on Lindsay Lohan? Because misery loves company and that sells magazines. A lot of young people can relate to her and that in itself is telling. I think it says something about young people in general. But I'm not going to hate on young people. Just her. For some reason, young women think it's very glamorous to reel out of a trendy club with a cell phone on their ear with body guards on both sides. They think it's oh-so-kewl to leave a club in the early morning hours with their mascara running and a shoe missing.
From what I know of Ms. Lohan, she has been disruptive and unprofessional onset before, putting movies behind schedule and over budget. She would show up to work late, in no shape to work. You know, she's over 21. What she does on her own time is her business. My mother told me 30 years ago "Cheryl, you're a grown woman. I can't tell you what to do. But no matter how late you stay out or how much you drink, you'd better be able to get up and work in the morning." Of course, I was still living at home because I didn't make enough money to live on my own. And therein lies the problem. Add money to the mix, and these young celebs feel no one can tell them what to do. Ms. Lohan has been in trouble for public intoxication, driving under the influence and other outrageous behavior that would have landed a no-money working stiff like me in jail. I get the feeling that Ms. Lohan thinks she's above the law. She thinks her celebrity entitles her to do whatever she wants, regardless of the consequences. She's 24 going on 6. A spanking might be appropriate. Does Jerry Lewis have the right to say she needs one? Well, we live in a free country where people pretty much have the right to say whatever they want as long as it's not libelous. I think she should have been spanked a long time ago. She has thrown her career in the trash can. She's been warned to stop drinking and smoking so much. She's apparently been in rehab for drug and alcohol dependency. What does she think this is doing to her body? I had a heart attack three weeks ago today, after spending years disregarding what I was doing to my health by smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and not exercising. I was lucky. I don't think Ms. Lohan would be that lucky. Sadly, I think she's going to end up like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger: dead before her time. Someone who really cares about her ought to sit her down and talk to her straight. She's surrounded by yes men, whose job is to tell her what she wants to hear. But she needs to hear some hard truths that she may not want to hear. Yes, I think she's spoiled and I think a good, hard spanking would benefit her immensely. But it's not going to happen. So I would be content to see her get some sense talked into her. I don't care one bit about her fame. She's a fellow human being and a tortured one at that. Her bad relationship with her father is well documented. To me, that's a shame. She never seemed to have that loving paternal influence in her life. If she had, hopefully she would have been lovingly disciplined. She might have grown up to be one of our finest young actresses, a positive influence on other young, aspiring actresses. Instead, she chooses to self-destruct. She chooses to piss away a career that might have meant something. With coaching and hard work, she might have turned into another Audrey Hepburn. She made the decision not to work at her craft. Of course, she was an adorable, freckle-faced youngster. I thought her future was bright. Then I began to hear things about her. She stole a boyfriend from a friend of hers. She was engaging in screamfests with the press. She dissed actor Jim Caviesel (one of my favorites) by saying with a heavy sigh "He's so last year!". She had no respect for others. Then I started to hear about the drinking and the carousing. She became a poster girl for the Bad Girl's Club. At the time, she was about 19 or 20 and she began to look incredibly skinny. So then the speculation began that she had anorexia. She began to garner sympathy. But instead of embracing it and turning over a new leaf, she got worse. While working on one film, she received a letter from the head of the studio rebuking her for her behavior and exhorting her to concentrate on her work. Now think about that. If you were working somewhere and messing up and you got a letter, not from your immediate supervisor, not from the store manager, but from the CEO of the company warning you to stop screwing up and get to work, how would you respond? I think it's safe to say that most of us would be highly embarrassed that a person as busy as the CEO of our company felt the need to write us a letter about our behavior. Most of us would also probably be sufficiently contrite that we would do just that: buckle down and do our job; what we're being paid to do. At the time I learned of the letter from the studio head, I told Cigi "I can picture her balling the letter up, tossing it into a garbage can and saying 'Who does he think HE is?'"

I can't be the only person who, on one hand, thinks a good spanking is long overdue for this little diva and also thinks that that would be too little too late. When I was 17, I wanted to go out cruising with my friends. Unfortunately, I got a C on my report card and I was grounded until I bought this unacceptable grade back up. My dad worked second shift (3-midnight) at his job and I thought I could circumvent his rules by just waiting until he was gone. I had what we called Tenth Hour Release, meaning I had study hall last hour and was free to go home after ninth hour. So I got home about 2 in the afternoon, before my dad left for work. It was Friday night and he asked if I had homework. I held up my books and said, "What do you think these are for?" Yes, I was going through a rebellious stage. He warned me not to get smart with him and that I had better crack the books. It never occurred to him that I might sneak out once he left. I was the perfect daughter before that. It was beyond his comprehension that I might disobey him. Well, I did. I waited until he left for work (my mom worked the same shift so I was on my own) and I went out with my friends. Not only did we cruise down the Bradley to try to get into a frat party. Of course, they could see we were underage and they told us to get lost. This happened at every house we tried to get into. In fact, we went to the sports fraternity, Hassler Hall, and tried to get in. One of the guys there (a baseball player, I think) told me to go home "before your daddy spanks you." After this humiliation, my friends and I gave up on trying to get in to a frat party and went about trying to get some booze of our own. I volunteered that my dad kept a bottle of Jim Beam on top of the china hutch. My friend, whose name was Lucy, drove a 1966 Pontiac Catalina that we'd christened the Gray Ghost. We piled into the Ghost and drove over to my house. I went in furtively, making sure no one saw me take the bottle. No one did. I went out to the car, holding it up triumphantly so my friends could see that I'd gone through with this dangerous mission. We went off to a nearby park and drank this bottle of Jim Beam, which I'd ruthlessly stolen from my hard-working dad. My dad who loved me unconditionally. My dad who made countless sacrifices for me. We had to watch the time because I had to make sure I beat my parents home. So we sped home and I ended up in bed with just minutes to spare. The next day, Saturday, I felt awful. I was hung over because I was used to beer, not bourbon (or whatever Jim Beam is). I had a crushing headache that convinced me I was going to have a cerebral hemorrhage. I was awoken by a hand shaking my shoulder and was met with the angry countenance of my dad. "Where is it?" he asked. This happened in May, 1978 and I will never forget this exchange if I live to be 100. I tried to clear the cobwebs. "Um, what?" I asked, rubbing my eyes and sitting up in bed. "You know what!" he said. When his brow knit, I knew he was displease, bordering on furious. "Dad, I was dusting and I broke it. I'm so sorry," I told him. I was shocked at how easily I was able to lie to him. But he saw it for the ridiculous lie it was. Needless to say, I ended up over my bed while my dad used his Marine Corps belt on me. At least my sore ass took my mind off my headache. He tacked on two more weeks to my grounding. This was my last spanking until 25 years later when I attended my first party. I tell this story to illustrate a point. In the home I grew up in, bad behavior had consequences. I knew as soon as I snatched that bottle from its resting place on top of the china cabinet that this was how I was going to end up. I had that sense of the certainty of my dad's justice. If Lindsay Lohan had grown up in the house that I did, with a tough, no nonsense Marine dad, this blog entry would never have been written. She would have been brought to heel a long time ago. I did bring my grade back up to a B and I never, never stole from my dad ever again. Even after over 30 years I still feel incredible shame for this incident. I doubt Ms. Lohan has ever been acquainted with that emotion...nor the business end of a Marine Corps belt.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coming Clean

I've been in the spanking scene for many years and have always thought that I'd reached the point where I didn't care who knew. But the point has come when I feel I'm going to have to let my doctors know what I'm into. How can I expect my doctors to advise me or protect my health when they are unaware of the fact that I get spanked hard for fun? I'm especially worried about being on blood thinners (Plavix and aspirin). I have seen the bruising that can result from just taking an aspirin before playing. So I've come to the crossroads: if my doctors know, how many other people will find out? I guess, since this is my health we're talking about, it doesn't really matter. It's not as important as life and death.
When the question of telling medical professionals ahead of time about TTWD, I could always afford to be so cavalier and say "Tell your doctor. He's a professional. He won't judge you." So easy for me to say at that time. Now the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. Now this is me we're talking about. Things don't seem as cut and dried as they were. It's going to be difficult for me, but I feel it has to be done. I will just file it under "sex" even though spanking isn't sexual for me. But I need to know if getting a spanking is going to jeopardize my health. And if it might, then how do I give it up? Could I give it up if my doctor advised it? These are questions that need answering and, unfortunately, only I can answer them. If anyone out there has experience with this (and not just because of blood could be any kind of medical thing that prevents you from playing) I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saying Goodbye To Things I Can't Have Anymore

When my buddy, Zelle, posted the above photo to her Fetlife profile, I was reminded that things like this are now on my "no" list. Too much salt and too much cholesterol. However, I could probably have a small portion of that once in a while. Zelle reminded me that they want moderation of those things; they don't expect 100% compliance. I think I miss these kinds of breakfasts: the kind that include eggs, hash, hash brown potatoes, and toast. Now, my breakfasts consist of low-fat yogurt, one slice of whole wheat toast with a little Promise spread and juice. Sometimes, I'll have cereal because on the diet I'm on, fruits, vegetables and whole grains aren't limited. I can have all of those I want. While I'm happy to limit myself to one glass of soda these days, I really miss certain things. Like popcorn. I used to love to microwave a bag of kettle corn, plop down on the couch with a Coke, and turn on "The Golden Girls". It used to be a ritual with me. But I can't have kettle corn anymore. Yes, I know they make low salt Orville Reddenbacher's, but come one. Have you tasted that stuff? Better to just give it up outright. Now my evening treat consists of a pudding cup (low fat) or a juice bar (no sugar added). I'm not complaining. If making these changes will keep me from having another stent placed (or, God forbid, bypass surgery) then I'm happy to make the sacrifice. Yesterday, I went to lunch with my big sister and she wanted to go to Long John Silver's. I knew they offered a light menu so I said OK. As soon as I walked in, I wanted chicken planks, hush puppies and a heapin' helpin' of crumblies. But I knew, realistically, I'd be ordering the grilled salmon and steamed vegetables. The salmon was lying on a nice bed of brown rice. I love rice and if brown rice was all I could have now, so be it. I was happy to pass my first restaurant test. But my dietitian told me if I wanted to go out for a burger and fries once in awhile, then that was OK. So I made a date and circled it on my calendar. On that day, I'm treating myself to Burger King. At least their burgers are charbroiled and not fried. I can still even have Chinese as long as it's off a buffet, where I can control the portion sizes. Of course, since I'm trying to lower my triglycerides, I have to be really careful because most Chinese restaurants use MSG. I know you can order your food without MSG, but how do you know that's what you're really getting?
I guess I'm not really saying goodbye to things like ice cream and brownies and the occasional steak, I guess I should just say I won't be stopping by as often. I've never been moderate about the things I really love. That's how I have ended up being as fat as I am. When I really like something, I eat it as often as I want to. Like potato chips. I had three bags in my cupboard that I gave to my neighbor. I know I might as well give them up because I don't know moderation when it comes to chips. I love them. The baked no-salt kind simply won't do for me. So chips are out the window.
I know I can do this. It will just take a lot of dedication on my part. The exercise is coming along a little more slowly due to my internal injury. Walking isn't a problem but the pain seems to be worse when I stop walking, even if I cool down. But I do it anyway. I'm hoping at the October Crimson Moon party I will be slimmer. Wish me luck, friends.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Celebrating Life--Continued

While I was in the hospital, I had plenty of time to think about things. I took mental inventory; trying to decide what things to keep in my life and which things to toss out. Lucky for me, the nurses didn't allow me to feel sorry for myself. They were compassionate and caring about what I had been through and the pain I was in, but they didn't allow me to wallow in self-pity. I was told it was detrimental to my recovery. Of course, I knew I was lucky. I could have had a massive heart attack and been on life support. I also came to grips with the fact that what had happened to me had been mostly my own fault. I knew my diet was bad. I ate red meat, cheese, eggs and butter as much as I wanted to. I was basically a couch potato. Oh sure, I worked hard. And my jobs had all been pretty strenuous. But working hard isn't aerobic. It's not doing anything to help my cardiovascular health. Well, it got my heart rate up at times, but not in a good way. I also knew that I had smoked for more than 30 years before quitting in 2006. It was good that I had quit, but the damage was already done. I knew my weight had long been a problem, too. But I had always vowed I wasn't going to be a "slave" to my body. I wasn't going to be one of those "salad and a glass of water" women. I kidded myself that all the bad tickers in my family belonged to men. All the women were healthy as horses so I thought I had nothing to worry about. But I had to wake up to the fact that my lifestyle had put me where I was. It's hard to do that in this culture; where everything was someone else's fault. No one force fed me the diet I had been eating all of my adult life. When my dad had his heart attack in 1989, I saw how hard it was for him to make the adjustments necessary to live healthier. He had the added problem of being diabetic, something I don't have to worry about (and hopefully never will). At the time, I was 28 years old and wondered how I would respond to the order to eat healthier. I said "No doctor's gonna tell me I can't eat bacon if I want to!" Well, when it's your life, it's amazing the stuff you'll give up. I can give up bacon easy. I'm on a sodium restricted diet because I'm taking blood pressure medication. Who knows how long my BP was allowed to run rampant, damaging my arteries. I used to think that doctors made too big a deal out of things. Like if a slice of white bread passed your lips, you would explode from the inside. Or if I didn't live off lettuce and grapefruit I would sentence myself to an early grave. I don't remember the man's name, but he was the guy who started the jogging craze back in the 70's. This guy told people they could live longer and be healthier if they jogged everyday. This man dropped dead at 57 and when they autopsied him, he had four arteries that were completely blocked. So much for jogging. Now doctors and nutritionists know that jogging and exercising, while it's good for your heart, will not break up plaque in the arteries nor will it prevent it. Only diet and heredity does that. So now I have to live with what I did to myself. I shake my head now when I think of how arrogant I was. My friends, who were coming to grips with the fact that they were aging, were making changes like stopping smoking, cutting back on sweets and salt, and reducing their alcohol. I poo-poohed this, saying "I can eat anything I want. I'm healthy." I wish my friends had insisted that I see a doctor to be sure. I think the truth is that I didn't want to know. I was going to live my life on my terms and not obsess over things like my weight. If people didn't like my size, they could go to hell. I made the typical remarks that I would rather be the size I was than one of those walking coat hangers. "How could those skinny girls possibly be healthy?" I asked. I neglected to think "How could I be healthy at this weight?" But I was in denial. Well, no longer. All I had to do was look at the machine I was hooked up to and all denial was wiped away.
My room was right by the nurses' station. There was a lady in sterile clothes whose job was just to watch the monitors of all the patients. She had two screens to watch: ICU patients and the ones on the floor. She didn't have to see patients or fill out paperwork. Her sole job was watching those heart monitors. I felt very safe with her on the job. I began to think of her as a lifeline. I never said a word to her, but she was very important to me.
When they moved me back onto the floor, I was pushed in a recliner (more comfy than a wheelchair). As we rolled past the nurses' station, all the girls there clapped and cheered. It was, I was told, a tradition to do this for people who made it out of ICU. It was a special little "you go, girl!" after all I had been through. I knew a lot of patients probably didn't make it out of ICU, unless it was to go to the morgue. While I was on the floor, the nurse told me I would get Fentynal for only about 8 more hours. Then they were changing my pain medication to Percocet. I think, at first, they were afraid I was drug seeking. But I think it finally did dawn on them that I was an actual patient with actual pain. Before I left ICU, a nurse removed the Foley from my bladder. It hurt more coming out than it had going in. Of course, I was so out of it when it had been put in that I couldn't be sure about that. From now on, when I needed to use the bathroom, I would have to get up and walk to the bathroom. Of course, they wanted me to call them if I needed help. When I went into the bathroom for the first time, I saw that there was a little pan there to catch and measure my urine. Urine, I knew, was gold in hospitals. Every drop was caught, measured and studied. I guess you can learn a lot about a person's health by looking at their urine. Anyway, I filled that thing the first time. Funny, but it felt so good to pee on my own. It also felt good to finally have a bowel movement. Of course, with the tear, it hurt a little. But they didn't want me straining and maybe causing the tear to start bleeding again. I didn't see any blood so I figured everything was cool in that department. My stomach sure felt a lot less bloated and painful. I was healing fast and beginning to feel a bit anxious to get back home. "Not until you can do stairs" my doctor said when I asked when I would be going home. Right, I never thought of that. I had some hellacious stairs at my apartment. No way I would be able to tackle those in my present state. Just getting up and walking to the bathroom exhausted me. These folks were the experts. I would have to take their word for it.
Of course, later that first day on the floor, I got my last dose of Fentynal. I savored the floaty feeling it gave me, knowing I was going to get Percocet next time. I remembered Percocet. My mother took it for her back and sometimes, when my cramps were especially bad, I would take one. Yes, I know. Very foolish. I could have ended up addicted to it. Unfortunately, the first time I needed something for pain (after the Fentynal was stopped) was during the night when the 3rd shift nurse was there. When she finally got to my room and I told her my pain was about an 8, she offered me a Tylenol. "Tylenol?" I said. "For a peritoneal tear? You're kidding, right?" She looked put out. Yes, I know it's harder to get narcotics; there's more procedure involved and she probably didn't want to go to the trouble. But I was in pain here. I couldn't have cared less that she didn't want to go through the procedure of getting me a narcotic pain reliever. I needed something for my pain NOW. When she finally did go to get it, she left me waiting (sweating and crying) for over half an hour. By the time she brought the pill, I was ready to tear it out of her hand. But I had to wait until she put it into a plastic medicine cup. There's some kind of federal law about taking medication directly from someone else's hand, even a nurse. She shoved it at me and gratefully swallowed it without checking to see if my water pitcher was full. It wasn't. The nurse got me a glass of water from the bathroom faucet. What a sweetheart she was. I would have washed that beautiful pill down with my own pee if I'd been forced to. It made me think of James Caans' character in "Misery": a poor person in pain at the mercy of someone who didn't care if they were in pain. I probably interrupted her break or something. Well, I'm sorry but my pain isn't on a time clock. Needless to say, I was glad when she left and another nurse replaced her. She was really great. Yes, I sometimes had to wait for her after I'd hit my call button, but she always apologized for the delay. I wasn't under any illusion that I was the only patient on the floor. I'm pretty sure most of the beds were full. I knew that I would have to wait for things.
There's only so much recuperating a person can do in a hospital. Sooner or later, it's time to leave and get on with your life. The first time I tried to do the stairs, I got dizzy. I attributed this to the fact that the stairwell was very hot. I was only dizzy for a couple seconds, but five people came running. I really was embarrassed. One of the nurses who was helping me said it would be better for me to wait until I can do the stairs alone than risk ending up back in the hospital, maybe with a broken neck this time. So it was determined that I should stay in the hospital for one more day. I was discouraged, but my sweet, understanding nurse told me that I would have setbacks. Come to expect them, she told me. You'll have times where you're discouraged, where you're frustrated. But you'll also have victories. But those will be hard won. She told me I would get well. The peritoneal tear was just going to make it take a little longer. She had me out walking the halls twice that night. Since I would be going home the next day, I would need to be as strong on my feet as possible. And there was still those pesky stairs. I wasn't going anywhere until I could master them. So I called forth my grit and made up my mind that I was going to whup those stairs. After the disappointment of failing the Stair Test, my nurse tucked me back into my bed with a Percocet. I was so disappointed. I was sure I would do well. I'm a very competitive person. I like to win. But not even being able to do a flight of stairs was such a stark wake-up call for me; a tangible reminder what my body had been through. "You'll do it tomorrow" my nurse said rubbing my shoulder and giving it a squeeze.
The next morning, my doctor came in. He was dressed in a suit this time and he looked gorgeous. He announced that I was being discharged today. He said if I had lived in a ranch-style house I would've gone home the day before. He asked me if I'd had any chest pain or if the pain was just in my tummy. Yeah, just there. No chest pain at all. He was happy to hear this. However, my tummy was still extremely tender and I reacted appropriately (something doctors call "guarding"). I asked him how long it would be that sore and he shrugged. It was all up to how fast my body healed the tear and how fast it reabsorbed the hematoma. He said until then, expect pain. But it would decrease as I healed. Pretty soon, he assured me, Tylenol will take care of any pain I was having. Just to be safe, when he gave my nurse my discharge papers, there was a prescription for Oxycodone. It was the small ones but it would work, he assured me. Cigi had had the big ones and had a Fentynal patch on top of that. Now I had some kind of perspective on how bad her pain must have been. Yet, I never once heard her complain or feel sorry for herself. I found myself admonishing myself when I felt like pitying myself.
I had to watch a movie called "Going Home Following A Heart Attack". All of the people in it were in their 60's. There was no one my age in the film. When I thought about it, there was no one my age on the floor. My nurse told me it was rare to see someone under 50 who didn't have a congenital heart disorder; unless they were drug addicts. One nurse told me everything about my case was atypical. Hey, what can I say? I was never one to do anything by the book. An internist was also seeing me regularly in order to track my overall health; his job was to make sure none of my new meds were interacting, that I was eating and "voiding" the way I should have been. He listened to my bowel sounds and continued to watch the area where the bruising was. The bruising, where the blood just pooled up under the surface of my skin, was horrific. It still stuns me to look at it. To think I lost that much blood just floors me. But the doctor told me that, as my body absorbs it, the bruising would fade. It would just take a long time. The trick now was to limit my physical activity so as not to tear it again. This is in direct opposition to what they want you to do after a heart attack. Most cardiologists want their patients up and moving as soon as possible. So my cardiologist knew not to expect any cartwheels from me just yet.
When the lady from physical therapy arrived to take me on the steps, I knew it was the moment of truth. My nurse went with me "just in case". I went up the stairs slowly but steadily. It had been coming down that had proved my undoing the day before. So I took it a little more slowly going up than I had before. Coming down, I felt good. I was wearing a device called a grab belt that the physical therapist could use to help me balance. When I hit the bottom of the staircase, I knew I'd aced it. I knew I would be going home that day. I was excited but scared, too. I'd been in the hospital for five days. It was time to continue my recovery at home.
So I say to all of my friends out there: don't ignore your health. Don't think it can't happen to you just because you eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise and your weight is normal. It can happen to anyone. Heart disease, I learned, is the Number One cause of death among women, beating out all cancers combined (even breast cancer). It's the Number Three killer of women in my age bracket (45-55) in the world. You only have one heart. Take care of it better than I did mine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Celebrating Life

Author's Note: This entry addresses a very serious subject and has nothing (or very little) to do with spanking. If you can't handle a little reality please don't read on.

On July 4, 1939 Lou Gehrig, the Yankee's beloved first baseman gave a moving speech to a large Yankee Stadium crowd. Although he was by then terminally ill with the disease that still bears his name, he described himself as "the luckiest man on the face of the Earth."

Allow me to put in my bid for the feminine record.

On Saturday, August 13, 2010 my life changed forever. Like many, I ignored the pains when they first came. I had been under considerable stress (which I've already talked about in other entries) and I was pretty sure the chest pains I was feeling were from anxiety. Like many who had partied in Chicago at the July Crimson Moon party, I returned home with a viral infection. I've had these most of my life and they usually pass without much discomfort. But this time was different. At 5 am, a squeezing pain woke me from a sound sleep. The pain radiated across my chest to my left arm. I'm ashamed to say that the first thought that went through my mind was that I was unemployed and uninsured. How was I going to pay a hospital bill? I laid back down and waited for the pain to subside, as it always had before. This time, it didn't. It was getting worse. The other thing I worried about was that my legs were stubbly. I didn't have time to shave them. I barely had time to get some clothes on. I ran across the hall to my neighbor, Terry, a retired cab driver and travelling salesman. I told him I was having chest pains and I needed to go to the hospital. He said he couldn't; he'd sprained his ankle the previous day and could barely walk, much less drive. Feeling increasingly panicky, I borrowed his cell phone and called a friend of mine from church, who was a nurse. I described my symptoms and asked her if she thought I should go to the hospital. The tone of her voice took on a serious tone. "Do you need a ride?" she asked and I could hear her grabbing clothes in the background. I said I did. She lived in a town about ten minutes away and told me she would be there soon. But if my pain got worse or if I felt faint or short of breath I shouldn't wait for her, but call 911. She must have broken a speed record to get there as fast as she did. I was outside waiting for her, apologizing profusely, when she arrived. Since she hadn't worked that night, she didn't have her stethoscope in her car as she usually did when she'd worked. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure she would have given my heart a listen. She reached over and took my pulse. "Your heart is racing, Cheryl. Try to calm down and breathe normally."

Yeah, calm down and breathe normally. I'm picturing myself lying on a gurney with a sheet over my face. I loved Cigi and I miss her terribly, but I'm in no hurry to meet her. Luckily for me, the hospital was only a few blocks from my apartment. It was Saturday morning and I was sure the ER would be packed. Mercifully, it wasn't. My friend and I walked to the door and the security guard offered me a wheelchair. I told her I was having chest pains and she took me immediately to the nurses' station and announced "chest pains". Before I knew what was what, I was in a room being told to take off my clothes. The ER nurse asked me if I needed help and she also guarded my modesty as a male nurse came in while I had my shirt off. I was allowed to keep my shorts and panties on because it was assumed my chest would be all the doctor would be interested in. While I was getting in a robe and lying down on the gurney, she asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 (a question I would be asked literally 50 times during my stay). I felt silly because, as I had been moving around, the pains were subsiding. Yeah, I'm at the hospital now and my pain was going away. Pain serves a purpose in life. It was telling me that something was wrong and once I got it through my head, I didn't need it anymore. I told her it was about a 6 by that time. By another stroke of luck, the male nurse knew me because I came to the ER with Cigi so many times and he knew she had recently died. He knew the stress I was under and wondered if I wasn't having a anxiety attack. He started an IV and blood was drawn (the first of dozens of blood draws I would have while I was in the hospital). Then I was given an EKG. The blood sample was to get a reading on my cardiac enzymes. When these are elevated, it could mean a heart attack. While they waited for the test results to come back, the male nurse sprayed a nitro spray under my tongue and gave me four baby aspirin. Meanwhile, the doctor hadn't been in yet. When he did come in, I observed an exhausted, overworked doctor. He asked me to describe my pain, its location and how long I'd been having it. I admitted I'd had it for several days, after recuperating from a viral infection. He informed me that my blood work and EKG were normal, but that they always did three tests to be absolutely sure. He listened to my heart and lungs and checked my feet and legs for swelling. He asked me the usual questions such as whether I smoked or drank, how much stress was in my life and how old I was. This doctor was young and trim and he asked me what I thought was a totally unnecessary question: "How long have you been overweight?" He didn't believe I was having a heart attack, but he took the time to ask me about my weight? I told him most of my adult life. He ordered another blood draw and another EKG. While they waited the 45 minutes for the results, he had the nurse give me some Atavan. His reasoning was that, if it was an anxiety attack, the Atavan would help. While it did help calm me down, it did nothing for my chest pain. He gave me some Dilaudid and left me to rest. Half an hour later, he was back. telling me that again my blood work and EKG were normal. He said he was going to give me some time to rest and then he would be sending me home. I was aghast. The drugs had barely touched my pain and it was getting worse. I told him, in begging tones, that my pain was increasing and that I was pretty sure I needed to be admitted. He looked at me like he wanted to bring in a psych consult. I'm pretty sure he thought I was drug seeking. But he did have me admitted to the cardiac floor. They took me upstairs and settled me in a bed, then a 12-lead (a monitor that shows cardiac activity) was put on me. My gown had a special pocket for the device.

It was similar to carrying a Walk Man or a transister radio. The adhesive that attached the wires to my body made my skin itch. But I was relieved to finally be in a room with cardiac nurses. Unfortunately, I wasn't seeing a doctor anywhere. I asked the nurse if I could have something for pain, she asked me, as so many would, to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I told her it was a 7 and getting worse. She said she would ask the doctor for an order. Meanwhile, another nurse came in a put a plastic bracelet on my left wrist. She also attached a yellow bracelet with FALL RISK on it in large black letters.

I asked the nurse "Why am I a fall risk?" Now I was a total klutz and have tripped and fallen plenty of times over the years, but the bracelet was somehow insulting. She said "Hon, you've had Atavan and Dilaudid. You may not feel lightheaded, but if you should try to get up and walk, you would probably hit the deck. It'll just help us take better care of you." She smiled at me reassuringly. I liked her immediately. She would take wonderful care of me over the course of that night. A little while later, she advised me to order some dinner. It was after 4 o'clock and I had not had any food all day. I picked up my phone to order and the operator had to check to see what kind of diet the doctor had ordered for me. She told me I was on the cardiac diet. I ordered an open faced roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, green beans and some pudding. Also a Sierra Mist, which I drank the whole time I was there. I laid there and rested while I waited for my tray to arrive. The pain dissipated somewhat as I ate. I made sure to eat slowly though because I didn't want to puke it all up. Being sick is the thing I hate and dread more than anything in the world. Shift change had happened but my friendly nurse was still there for some reason. When I asked why she was working over, she said the third shift nurse had called off and she had volunteered to stay. Later, I would be glad this angel of mercy was with me. She was in my room every half hour asking "How's your pain,Cheryl?" I had to admit it was getting a lot worse and I was beginning to feel short of breath. She went to report this to the doctor, who I still hadn't seen yet. The doctor was ordering pain medication without even seeing me. She returned swiftly with a hypo which she told me was Morphine and asked if I'd ever had it. Yes, I had it after my hysterectomy. In fact, I had a pump where I could hit a button and get a hit every half hour. I'd loved it because it had taken away my pain without making me sick the way Demerol did. She began to push it slowly into my IV so that I wouldn't have that dreaded "head rush" which I hate so much from pain meds. She told me the lab had been alerted and someone was coming down to take two vials. One was to check my cardiac enzymes again and another one for a test called a dedimer. This test checks for blood clots. The dedimer test wasn't conclusive, however, because you can have an elevated level just from having an IV, which I did. Twice she had given me this awful tasting concoction that was supposed to help raise my potassium, which was low. The guy from the lab arrived and, without much preamble, found a vein and drew the required two vials of blood. I was aware now that I'd had a lot of blood draws already and the needles now stung as they went in. I admitted to my nurse after the lab guy left, that I was afraid. I didn't want to have a blood clot in my heart or lung. She told me to just relax. A STAT order had been placed on my test and the results would be back in minutes. When they arrived, the news was bad. My cardiac enzymes were elevated and my potassium was still low. By this time, there were five people in my room, including, finally, the doctor. He was tall and trim, just like the ER doctor. He was attractive and efficient. He spoke to me like a person. "Cheryl, your cardiac enzymes are elevated. Not a lot, but enough that I'm concerned based on how long standing your pain is." He listened to my heart and took my blood pressure, which was very high. He asked me if I knew what an angiogram was. Sure, I knew. It's where you inject me with radioactive contrast, thread a catheter through my femoral artery and look at my cardiac arteries. Cigi had had one a few years ago and so had my roommate before his bypass surgery. I took care of his wound (because he's diabetic). I knew how risky and painful they were. He wanted to do one. He said he wanted to see what my arteries were doing and if there was any damage to the heart muscle. I said "OK" and the doctor gave me a consent form and a pen. Saying a silent prayer, I signed it. He told me I would be going to the Cath Lab shortly. I'd never been inside a Cath Lab before but I was so scared and in so much pain I didn't care what they did to me as long as, when it was all over, I was out of pain. Two men, one of them ruggedly handsome, came into the room with a metal table on which was resting a plastic yellow sheet. I asked what the plastic was for and the handsome one said that sometimes, when the dye is injected, people pee themselves. The plastic sheet makes it easier to clean up. Wow. This was good to know but I was mortified by the thought of peeing in front of a good looking doctor and his ruggedly handsome assistant. They got me on the table, which was freezing cold, and began to wheel me to the lab. All the while, the doctor is giving me the odds of certain things happening. One of them, an arterial bleed, was given as 1200 to 1. When I arrived in the lab, I understood why the table had been so cold. The room was freezing. It was so cold that my teeth were chattering and my legs and arms were shaking. The doctor explained that the room was cold due to all the sensitive equipment and because I would become really hot when the radioactive dye was injected. I would be grateful, he assured me. He asked his assistant (the handsome one) to give me some Verced. A female nurse was there, too, helping the doctor put plastic sheeting over the flouroscope (the X-ray machine that would allow him to see my artieries). The handsome guy pushed the Verced into my IV. "I'm giving you some Verced, Cheryl," he told me. "It's to put you into twilight sedation. You won't care about too much after I give you this." Before it hit, the doctor asked me where the scars on my pudendum had come from. Because I'm in the spanking scene, I keep my hoo haw shaved. Otherwise, he would never have seen the scar. I explained that I'd been born with a hernia and had had it operated on when I was two years old. He numbed the area on my groin that he was going to go in through. I felt nothing and didn't care. Verced was the best stuff in the world. The nurse patted my shoulder and let me know that she was going to inject the dye now. I would feel it and it would feel cold at first, then really hot. It felt like ice water going in. By the time it hit my heart three seconds later, I felt like I was on fire. The doctor said "You have a blocked artery, Cheryl. It's being a bratty artery, for sure." I was praying because I thought I'd just heard the doctor say I had a blocked artery. I asked "Just one?" and he said "Yep, all the others look beautiful. You have very large arteries." He explained to me that he was going to insert a stent into the artery to open it up. It was the right coronary artery, which carries blood to a large part of the heart. And it was blocked. Terrific.I saw the doctor remove the stint from its packaging. It looked huge. I thought 'That's going in my heart?' He said he had done balloon angioplasty on the artery, in which a balloon catheter was put into the artery and then inflated in order to push the plaque build up against the walls of the artery, moving it out of the way for the stent. A stent is a plastic tube with cobalt chromium wires criss crossing it. The stent was top of the line, he told me, given only to the healthiest patients. As soon as the stent went in, every bit of my chest pain disappeared. I was so relieved, tears began to fall from the corners of my eyes. The ruggedly handsome guy said "You OK, hon?" I told him I felt a thousand times better and was so relieved to be out of pain. The doctor said "Well then, you're gonna hate me. I'm inserting a collogen seal into the artery. That way, you only have to lie flat and motionless for a couple hours instead of six hours. But it's gonna make you feel like your leg is on fire." When he inserted the seal into the artery, the pain was the worst I'd ever felt. I cried out for real and shed new tears. The ruggedly handsome guy, who I acertained by now was the anaethesiologist, advised me to breathe in deeply through my nose and then out through my mouth. "Slow deep breaths, Cheryl", he coaxed. Little did I know that my pain was about to get a lot worse. I was still crying from pain and the doctor asked Mr. Ruggedly Handsome to give me some more Verced. I was in pain again, but at least it wasn't my chest. The bratty artery was now unblocked.

However, despite how relieved I was that I wasn't going to need bypass surgery, I continued to be in severe pain as I was wheeled back to my room. My sweet, caring nurse was there waiting for me. She smiled and applied a wet wash cloth to my forehead, knowing that I was still hot from the dye. Another nurse applied a heavy sandbag directly to the wound. The pain incresed again. OK, I lied before. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. Suddenly, I began to feel very strange. I said to my nurse "I'm gonna be really sick!" She went to get one of those vomit bags they give you and, because I couldn't raise my head (I still had to lie flat and still) she bunched up a blanket around the side of my head. "Go ahead if you need to, honey." I lost my lunch all over the place. Then I lost my bladder. The bed was soaked under me. I felt like I was going to pass out and I said so. I felt so weak. Lucky for me, my ministering angel didn't leave the room during this time. Something in how I looked made her grab the blood pressure cuff and check it. "She's crashing!" she said. I heard footsteps running away. I didn't feel THAT bad. The doctor charged into the room. It was like a scene out of "ER". "What's her pressure, Janet?" he asked. "90 over 65" she said. The doctor whisked my sheets off without ceremony and shoved up my gown, exposing my in all my sick, suffering glory. Then he did it. He pressed on my stomach. More pain washed over me like a wave. I was sure I was dying. This doctor had killed me. He wanted a CT of my belly. I was so out of it that I couldn't even sign the consent form. I had to raise my arms over my head for the scan and, for some reason, it made me feel a lot better. I was able to follow the directions I was given. The tech injected me with the contrast and I felt like I'd wet my pants again. But I knew this was the effect because Cigi had had a number of CT's. The effect didn't last very long. Neither did the test. It confirmed the doctor's worst fears: I had bled into my abdomen and the resultant hematoma (pool of blood) had ripped a hole in my peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. I heard the doctor curse under his breath and ask a nurse to get me "type and crossed for two units." I knew what this meant, too. I was going to get a blood transfusion to replace what I'd lost. I was informed of the bleed and the tear and told that I would be moving to the Intensive Care Unit. Terror gripped me and I began to cry again. The nurse patted my arm. "It's OK, sweetie. You'll be OK. They have the best people over there." I wasn't stupid. I knew that it only took a few minutes to bleed to death from an artery. They moved me swiftly to the ICU and the blood was waiting for me when we got there. We were met by Jennifer, a young ICU nurse and a man from the blood bank. He read the number from the red bracelet I'd had put on before I even got out of the CT tube. I began to think of my blood type--B postive. I told myself to do that. Be positive. It was close to midnight by now and things were quiet, except for the nurse hooking up my blood transfusion. In the ICU, I was given Fentynal for my pain every two hours. No one was asking me to rate my pain anymore. They knew it had to be bad and it was. Every movement was torture. I thought I had a high pain threshold. Everytime the young nurse lifted my gown, I whimpered because I knew she was going "appreciate" how hard my abdomen was and I knew it was going to hurt a lot. A foley was inserted into my bladder and immediately my abdomen felt less full. Getting rid of the urine took a lot of pressure off my belly. The nurse who catheterized me told me it might hurt but that she would be as gentle as possible considering what I'd already been through. At another time, I might feel self-conscious having a woman spreading my lips open and fingering my pee hole. But I was so sick I didn't care. They could have injected me with Draino and I wouldn't have cared at that point. She came in at the wrong angle the first time and it stung. She rubbed my leg. "Sorry about that, Cheryl. I'll get it this time." It slid in easily this time and immediately urine began to fill the attached bag. I let out a sigh of relief. "Better, hon?" she asked. I nodded and was rewarded with a nice shot of Fentynal. A blood pressure cuff was attached to my arm and it took my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. It was coming back up but still low. "This takes awhile," Jennifer told me. "Just rest and hit your button if you need me, OK?" Again, I just nodded. She was concerned enough to ask me "Cheryl, can you speak?" "I can but I'm so tired," I told her. Again, she patted my arm. I couldn't tell if this was respect afforded an elder or if she just empathized with her patients. "Is there anyone I can call for you, Cheryl?" she asked. "Your family?" I looked at the watch. "Not at this hour," I said. "My big sister will be here at 5 o'clock and she'll wanna see me. She'll spread the word." There weren't any phones in the ICU but the nurses would make calls for patients. The way it works in ICU is that every patient has a nurse assigned to them. That nurse is your nurse only. Unlike out on the floor, where there might be four or five nurses for 15 patients. I saw the room number on the wall--271 and noted with irony that that was the very same room I'd been in when I had visited my roommate just a month before. I never thought in a million years that when I was visiting him I would be in the exact same bed. This was one for "Ripley's". Sure enough, at 5 am my sister came into the room. Apparently, someone knew that she was my sister and had told her when she came in. She hadn't wanted Kathy to see my name on the board when she came in to clean the rooms. She wanted to make sure I was OK. My new nurse told her I was stabilizing but not out of the woods yet. My big sister, who's so stoic that her childhood nickname was General Patton, was crying. "I just lost my other sister" she said quietly. "I know" the nurse said understandingly. They brought me Fentynal and ice chips at regular intervals. I couldn't have any solid food (as if I wanted any) just in case another test was ordered. My memory is a bit hazy but I remember having pillows placed under me and being turned so they could see the lividity my internal bleed had caused. Because I was lying flat, the excess blood settled in my back and bottom. Just being breathed on, let alone moved, was excrutiating. When I would cry out from being handled, the nurses would rub my shoulder and say "There, there, sweetie. It's almost over. We just have to see how bad the bruising is. I know it hurts to be moved but it has to be done." When they were done with their examination, one of the nurses came back with some warmed up baby lotion and massaged my back and bottom (yeah, I got aftercare in the hospital). The pampering was nice. For five years, it had been all about Cigi and what I could do to make her clean and comfortable. Then I had been caregiver for my roommate, an assignment that never should have fallen on me in the first place. Now it was about me for a change. I know this sounds selfish, but I relished the attention and made no secret of the fact that I ate it up. I never got pampered like I did in the ICU.Unfortunately, the vampires were still coming to draw my blood every four hours, no matter the hour. Most were gentle but some weren't. When the pain overwhelmed me, I cried. I had been through the wringer so I thought I deserved to indulge myself. I'm not a crier by nature, but I defy anyone to go through what I'd been through and not shed a few tears. Between the pain and the fear that I might die, I did a lot of silent crying and praying. Later that morning, I was resting quietly, waiting for my pain meds, when the doctor who had wanted to discharge me walked by. When he saw me, he did the double take of all double takes. He pushed the glass door aside and came in. "What happened to you?" he asked. "I had a blocked artery," I said. "I had a heart attack and then an arterial bleed and then a peritoneal tear. I'm feeling pretty miserable." He didn't come right out and say it, but the expression on his face said "I screwed up big time." "Are you gonna be OK?" he asked. I shrugged. "I hope so." He was clearly uncomfortable so he said he hoped I felt better soon and left.

When the blood transfusion was complete, they gave me some medicine in my IV that would help it circulate better. I was getting saline wide open as well. Because I was right by the nurses' desk and the nurses had Report before every shift change, I heard the litany of what had gone wrong with my stent placement a number of times. The nurses talked loud, it seemed. The charge nurse was a caring lady; every bit an old-fashioned nurse. Alot like my mom, I thought. I remembered being in the same hospital 17 years earlier for a hysterectomy and many times the nurses would come in to check my catheter, simply spreading my legs and looking without so much as saying anything. Nowdays, I think the nurses do a better job of guarding patients' dignity. If the nurse had to come in to check something, they would always say what they were going to do before they did it. Hospitals aren't good places to sleep in. Even at night, they're very noisy. The doors stay open much of the time and the curtains stay open so that the nurses can spot a patient who might not be able to reach their call button. But if something private was about to be done, they would take great care to close the door and draw the curtains.

I was starting to feel much better by mid-day on Sunday. Blood tests and examination of my belly showed that the bleed had stopped. The blood would be reabsorbed by my body. But the peritoneal tear will take a long time to heal. I was continuing to have severe pain due to the tear but I could now move my leg and only experience moderate pain. Before I was told I could order my dinner, the nurse came in and gave me a bed bath. I had thought those had gone the way of white starched hats. "Not in the ICU" the nurse said unsnapping the snaps on the shoulders of my gown and gently pulling off my robe. She covered me with towels, both to guard my modesty and to keep me from getting cold. The warm water felt so good I just laid there and let her bathe me. It hurt so bad to move my arms I couldn't even wash my own crotch (and I didn't even try). She was a professional, doing her job. She took special care with my belly, back and bottom. They were (and still are) badly bruised. The blood was just puddled up under the surface and as I was moved, I could feel some of it moving with me. It's not like to went over to the other side or anything, but I definitely felt it moving. When I'd been bathed and put into a clean gown, the nurse brough the menu to me. I was starving. "You're on the cardiac diet so stick to that, OK?" she said. I ordered a chicken stir fry with brown rice and some orange sherbert. My throat was so dry, despite the steady diet of ice chips I'd received during my transfusion. I was on a sodium restricted diet because I was now on meds for my blood pressure, but I could still have soda so I ordered a Sierra Mist. When my tray came, I couldn't raise the bed high enough to sit up to eat. Sitting up put too much pressure on my belly. So I left the bed down and grabbed the food with my fingers. Pathetic, I know but I was so hungry I would have eaten it off the floor if need be. The nurse brought in my pills that had to be taken with food and offered to feed me. I passed, wanting to keep what was left of my dignity.

Time passes slowly in the ICU. Even though there was a clock on the wall, I had no real sense of time because I was drugged much of the time. The Fentynal served a two-fold purpose. It managed my pain and kept me relaxed. Because my potssium had been so low, they were worried about me developing muscle cramps, which would have been very painful. People from my church came to visit me and I barely remember it. My world consisted of being prodded and moved and Fentynal. And blood draws. This was my life. But sooner or later, it was time for me to go back onto the floor. Again, I got a bath first. But I had to do it myself this time. And I had to get up and walk to the end of the hall. I was shaky but I did it. The real pampering was over, I knew. Now it was time for me to start recovering. That meant doing as much as I could for myself. I bathed myself with wash clothes that had been microwaved. I also got something called a shampoo cap. This thing looks like a shower cap but inside is some water and shampoo. You put it on your head and rub it around as best you can. I was aware that I had severe bed head. Before I took my bath, a nurse came in and removed my foley. Removing it proved more painful than inserting it had been. But I was glad it was going away. Instead of being moved on a gurney, I was moved in a recliner. One nurse pushed me to my new room and another followed behind with my bags of belongings. I bid all of my nurses a fond farewell and went to my new room. I was told I was still going to get Fentynal for another 8 hours or so but then I would be given Percocet for pain. Obviously, I was healing fast. The move had exhausted me and I slept for three hours after being made comfortable. When I awoke, I had to go to the bathroom really badly so I hit my call button. I had been used to not having to wait more than a few seconds for my nurse. I had to wait almost ten minutes before the nurse came. I needed help to the bathroom I told her. I was a fall risk, after all. When I got in the bathroom, I noticed there was a little plastic pan to catch my urine. In the hospital, urine is like gold. Every drop is caught and measured. But I was worried because I hadn't had a bowel movement since before I'd gone to the hospital on Saturday. The nurse told me not to worry. My bowel sounds were good and I hadn't had that much solid food. Plus, most narcotic pain killers cause constipation. I learned that cardiac patients weren't given laxatives or enemas because it would cause problems with the heart. The best I would get, if I didn't go soon, was a stool softener. I was a very dignified person and the thought of being helped in the bathroom rubbed me the wrong way. Having to have my ass wiped because I couldn't reach back far enough galled me. There was some comic relief though, when one of the cardiac nurses came in and told me that, because I'd had blood and because I was having good bowel sounds, I was going to start releasing a lot of gas. She was going to show me how to do that without hurting myself. I looked at her incredulously. "Farting lessons?" I asked. She shrugged. "Pretty much, yeah." She had me turn on my right side, facing her and told me to tell her when I felt one coming. I was mortified. I thought nothing of farting while playing, but the thought of farting in front of a nurse who was going to coach me, well, it was bizarre beyond words. But I got through it and was later glad she'd taken the trouble to teach me the safe way to fart.

Since I'm really tired now, I will continue the rest of the story tomorrow.