Thursday, February 28, 2008

Coming Back to Normality

First of all, Mom is doing great. Today she went to the bank and got her hair done. The doctor told her she can drive again, and while she's still tired, I think she likes the freedom of being able to go out and run some errands.

I went back to the office today, and tonight I'm back home in my condo. On one hand, it feels really good to be back at my own place, to sleep in my own bed, tidy up the place, and let's be honest, watch my shows; but on the other hand, I feel bad about leaving Mom by herself. Not because I'm worried something will happen to her, I think we're passed that point (knock on wood), but because I know she gets lonely and wanted me to stay. Last night she gave me the old, "I wish you would move back..." comment in a little pitiful voice. Which didn't make me feel great. I mean, I can't move back. I have my own home. But I have actually liked spending time with her these past weeks, I wish it could have been under better circumstances, but we've had fun hanging out. In the evenings, we curl up on her bed and watch Gilmore Girls (WHY have I not watched this show before???) and I have enjoyed taking care of her. In a lot of ways, this whole heart attack thing has brought us closer together.

In any event, I'm getting back to my normal schedule, but it doesn't help that I seem to have caught a pesky cold. Or at least the beginnings of one. Sore throat, fatigue, post-nasal drip, sneezing, all check. No cough yet, thank the lord, but it could be waiting just around the bend! Actually, after spending 9 days in the hospital, it's amazing I didn't catch pneumonia or anything. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

So that's the latest and the greatest, hopefully now the blog will return to its usual critique of the foibles of others.

Mom Quote of the Month:

Mom (to the technicians at the hospital as they prepared to move her for the cardiac catheterization): Why can't I just move myself onto the table?
Technician: Because you're having a heart attack, lady!!
Mom: Fair enough.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hey, did you know that heart attacks really suck? No? Well, then pull up a chair and let me tell you all about it....

Yeah, so my Mom had a heart attack. Basically, on Saturday, Februrary 9 at 6:00 in the morning she woke up with severe chest pain. She called me, I took her to the Kaiser Emergency Care Center, they performed an EKG, and the doctor told me that they were calling 911 and taking her to Fairfax Hospital since her EKG was abnormal. Cue the freaking out.

Seriously. I don't think I have ever been so scared as when the Kaiser docs threw nitroglycerin and aspirin down her throat, all those EMT guys stormed in, strapped Mom to a gurney, and the ambulance pulled out. I met them at the hospital, and after waiting 30 minutes in the waiting room, they took me back to see Mom. We were told she was going to have a cardiac catheterization (which entails winding a wire through the femoral artery to the heart).

I sat for an hour alone in the cardiac waiting room, waiting. The doctor came out, told me everything had gone well, and informed me that Mom had a 100% blockage of one of the major arteries of her heart, and partial blockages of two other arteries. The complete blockage had been cleared and a stent had been placed in the artery.

After her procedure, Mom felt a lot better. At least for a few days. While still in the hospital she developed fluid in her lungs, which resulted in her blood not becoming oxyginated to a normal amount. The lungs are naturally lubricated, and one of the heart's jobs is to pump out the fluid. After the heart has been damaged in a heart attack, however, it cannot pump as strongly. So the fluid in the lungs was not being removed. Basically, Mom had to stay in the hospital an entire week, until Saturday, February 16.

Things seemed to be improving throughout the week Mom was at home, but starting Thursday, she began to experience pressure and slight pain in her lower chest. We took her back to the hospital on Saturday, February 23, and they admitted her. The good news is, nothing is wrong with her heart. Her EKG looked good, blood work showed that certain enzymes that are present during a cardiac event were normal, and a chest CT showed no pulmonary blood clots. The doctors determined that her problem was epigastric in nature and sent her home.

The only caveat is that a stomach CT showed a mass outside her stomach. We have no idea what this is, but the doctor said that its most likely benign, and it's probably just some kind of cyst that will be reabsorbed naturally. We're making an outpatient appointment for an endoscopy and/or upper GI for later this week.

While it's probably nothing, it's just scary. The words "mass" and "tumor," while medical and themselves merely descriptive, instantly make me worry. But there's really nothing that can be done or determined until more tests are run. So I think we aren't really going to think about it too much, and just let the doctors do their jobs. Mom's spirits are up, she's feeling better, and she's glad to be home.

The best part? I found ice cream with only 1 gram of fat and only 80 mg of sodium, so Mom can eat them. Because she would be willing to do anything the doctors tell her...except give up ice cream.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Awesome Birthday Part I

I am officially 28. I know, weird, huh? The claim that I am in my "mid-twenties" is now completely laughable. Actually, it was completely laughable a year ago, but that's not gonna stop me.

My friends and family, once again, came through and helped me celebrate an awesome birthday. Things started off on Friday when Caroline and Joe took me to see U2-3D. Let me just say this. I love U2. I don't care how old Bono gets, dude is hot and can still bring it. And this movie was the most AMAZING film I have ever seen. First of all, digital picture and sound. Second, IMAX. Third, it's 3D, motherfucker!! Bono...right in front of you. I could reach out and tune The Edge's guitar. Ah-mazing. I'm going again with Moe, because seriously. I'll never be able to replicate this kind of viewing experience again.

Saturday it was party time! Selvi came up from Charlottesville and made the cutest cupcakes (they spelled out happy birthday!!) and the usual suspects got together. I have taken the liberty of posting pictures:

Best cupcakes of all time!

Me and Carly

The triumpharate! Kristin, Mags, and the Selvster. Don't mess with the pie hoes.

Moe and Brian. Awwww.

Anne and Me, redhead power!

Andy, Tony, Me, Anne, and Jim

You can cram a lot of people into my condo.

More pics to come!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

This just in! Maggie not as geeky as previously thought!

I don't really make that much of an effort to hide my nerdom. But according to The Onion's A.V. Club, and their list of obsessions even geekier than Monty Python, I would say I come in somewhere around the middle.

I am well-acquainted with the tv-related geekdoms (no surprise), but can safely say that I have managed to avoid the nerd activities that spill into the real world. Just in case you were wondering here is how I rank on The Onion's guide to geekiness:


Star Trek

Battlestar Galactica (but only the new series, I have some standards)

Joss Whedon

The Simpsons

Doctor Who

Not Likes

Renaissance Faires

Fantasy Sports Leagues

Michael Jackson

Wikipedia (as a resource, yes, as a hobby, no)

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Media specific role-playing

Frank Zappa

Magic: The Gathering

World of Warcraft

Game-show trading



Live-action role playing

Second Life/Myspace/Facebook


As you can see, one list is clearly longer than the other. For the first time, I fall towards the normal side of the geek spectrum!

And the villagers rejoiced!