Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Well, a beautiful, albeit cold, Saturday. Willie is up taking a nap and I am baking a whole wheat, oatmeal, granola, flax seed bread. This morning Willie and I went out to run a few errands and as we were pulling out of the driveway, saw a big racoon run off of our back patio and into the woods. Now, it was about 11 AM and racoons are noturnal by nature (kind of like New Yorkers, actually), so I was immediately convinced that it was rabid. We watched it run along the hillside into the neighbor's acreage and then disappear. I'm ready to buy a gun or a cannon or something, but Willie seems pretty blase about the whole thing.

What can I say - I just don't like racoons much. Oh, sure, they have those cute little faces with those adorable little bandit masks on, and they're all fluffy and then there are their little striped tails. But, I'm telling you straight up, they are mean, vicious little suckers. Years ago, I had one that had made it's home in my roof, which resulted in me hiring a "humane" pest control guy to come trap the "cute" little racoon and relocate it. Well, they trapped it all right. And, you have never heard more snarling and hissing in your life - it was as if a grizzly bear was channeling through the racoon - about 25 pounds of shear fury. I was terrified that it was somehow going to escape the cage and kill or maim me. The pest control guy, who had gone back on the roof to set another trap "in case it's mate is also living up hear" (what???) told me not to get near the cage, "just in case." Is it any wonder I've made it a mission to stay away from the little monsters??

Well, I'll keep you posted on any more sightings. And, I'll keep a baseball bat at the ready...

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Can Hear!!

So, finally got in to see the Audiologist this morning for the much-awaited hearing test. Last year, when I had my test (which was the lead-up to the MRI and the brain tumor diagnosis) my speech discrimination in my Left (good) ear tested at 92, which is okay, but not fabulous. I've wondered if my extreme state of stress when I was tested last year (believe it or not, I was freaked out that I might be losing my hearing - little did I know!) might have caused me to test lower.

And, it would seem that I might be right - because this year my speech discrimination in my good ear tested at 100!! Like anyone else my age, I've got some hearing loss in the high and low ranges, but all withing completely normal ranges.

Now, here's what is really strange. The Audiologist (Diane) insisted in testing my deaf ear and I was able to actually get some word recognition at very high volume. I am very curious about this and plan to discuss w/Dr. Roland when I see him on Mar. 2. I queried both Dr. Galeos (ENT) and Diane this morning and the best they could surmise is that whatever is left of my 8th cranial nerve is trying to hear things. Of course, this doesn't change the fact that I am technically and"profoundly" deaf in that ear, but it is kind of interesting.

I also hit both of them up to get trained for Transear - they are going to think about it and I will check back in a few weeks. I gave my most compelling and convincing argument, but it's ultimately up to them. So, stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday, Dad!! (I restrained myself from belting out the entire birthday song when we talked this morning - you can thank me later!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!

Okay, so I am a day late ... so what? It's the thought that counts, right? We had a quiet day and an early night. Just before Willie headed off to Orlando (convention for his company) on Weds, he started to get a sore throat and stuffy head. Sure enough, by Friday, we was miserable and we knew that he'd caught my cold. He got home very late Friday night (thanks to air traffic delays at Newark) and we spent yesterday napping.

We roused ourselves to make a nice grilled Steelhead Trout filet on the grill, accommpanied by baked acorn squash with cinnamon and maple, and a tangy Greek Salad. I am quite sure that it was delicious, although everything still tastes a bit off to me, and Willie can't taste much of anything right now. Still, it looked nice and made us feel as if we were celebrating Valentine's Day in some small way. We were upstairs and in bed by 7:30. Dullards, that's what we are.

So, hopefully others can report more exciting versions of the holiday - please share your tasty meals and memorable moments by commenting here, okay?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ENT Visit

So, off I went to the ENT this morning all prepped for my hearing exam, only to learn that they'd only scheduled me for the office visit, not the hearing test! So, back next Monday to have my ear checked. Did have a nice visit with Dr. Galleos - he initially diagnosed my acoustic neuroma, so he will forever have a special spot in my heart. As long as I was there, I had him look in my nose (lucky guy) only to have him confirm what my PC said - yep, you've got a viral infection and only time will really help. Oh well.

I did my big guerrilla marketing presentation via live web-ex to Australia last night - had a great time and was well received. I had a glass of lemon and honey that I sipped on the entire time and was able to stave off the horrendous hacking until the hour was over. Then, I hacked and blew for at least an hour. Makes Willie so nervous. He is afraid I am going to blow myself right into a CSF leak - I noticed him surreptitiously checking my head last night to make sure nothing was leaking! (yes, honey, I saw you.)

So, that's the rather anti-climatic report from the ENT. Status on the mucus front is unchanged, but there is some cautious optimism.

Debbi, signing off....

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Back

So, when I last blogged, I thought I had passed through the epi-center of a little cold -wrong! I really went down for the count last week - first cold since my surgery - not fun. Willie finally made me go to the doctor on Saturday and she confirmed that I had a viral infection. Not to be indelicate, but I believe I may have cornered the world market on mucus. Today, I am finally feeling human again and the snorting, hacking, wheezing and sneezing seems to be subsiding.

And I must share a little lesson I learned - when one is deaf in one ear and ones blows ones nose too vigorously, one is nearly deaf in the other ear, too! Quite startling, to say the least. And, fortunately, temporary.

Having spent much of last week in bed, I am totally in the weeds this week and have some major catching up to do. I am also doing a live webex presentation tonight for a group of coaches/consultants in Australia (where it will be tomorrow morning for them.) So, one of the things I must do today is go through my presentation and make sure that I am totally engaging and interesting for an hour tonight. No pressure.

Tomorrow I am going for my now-annual hearing test with the ENT who initially diagnosed my Acoustic Neuroma. I wonder if they'll give me 50% off on the hearing test since they only need to test my left ear? I find myself being extremely protective of my "good" ear now - I am so aware that if I lose hearing in my left ear, I don't have a fall-back ear. So, that being said, I guess I am a wee bit nervous about tomorrow's test. Only the SSD probably fully understand this.

Well, off to get some fee-paying work done - will update tomorrow with results of audiology test.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back Again!

Me again - back after a little time-out. My girlfriend, Peg, is here in the States visiting (she lives in China, splitting her time between Hong Kong and Fuzhou) and she stopped by for an overnight visit on Tuesday. Ended up being a two-night visit because we got snowed and iced in. We had a great time - got Peg hooked on the Wii Fit and she is now in hot pursuit of one for herself. Had lots of fun, good food and good wine.

My 53rd (gulp) birthday was last Friday, so Willie took me out to my favorite local bistro for a lovely dinner with a perfect glass of Old Vine Zinfandel to accompany it. To continue the celebration, I slept in on Saturday - pure bliss!

Met up Saturday afternoon a the local Gastropub (are you sensing a theme here?) for dinner with one of my girlriends (and Willie, of course!). We had a lot of laughs and some great food before calling it a night.

Sunday, I started to feel crappy and now I am without voice. Some would say that me having laryngitis is a blessing - you all know how much I have to say... Anyway, I am tucked in with hot tea and lemon and the animals. I am catching up on all my blogging this morning, then will probably succumb to the urge for a nap. I am planning a new series of coaching blogs on my other blog, so may spend some time conceptualizing that. What I won't be doing is talking!

Signing off from cold New Jersey...