Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good Thing I Have Health Insurance

Wow. Last night when I got home my Explanation of Benefits from Health Partners was waiting for me. I've been patiently awaiting this to see just how much my eye surgery cost.

Services for just the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist were $594.33 and $927.41, respectively. I'm not really sure why one is so much more than the other.

The surgery was $6,762.03.

My appointment the day after surgery was $125.20.

The two appointments I had earlier in the week, with my primary care doctor and the opthamologist were $220.00 and $387.00.

And none of this includes the appointment I had last week or the one I have in two weeks.

So far, fixing my eye has cost a whopping $9,016.27! Of that, I have only had to pay $18.72 for eye drops and $30.00 in co-pays. That's it.

Thank you U of M for a good health insurance plan!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Well, then...

My sister was giving me a hard time about not posting recently. It's not that I have nothing to post...it's that with it being dark before I even leave work, I haven't been able to take pictures of my recent knitting accomplishments (unless I want to use my flash and have the pictures look horrible).

What about over the weekend, you ask? Hey...I was way too busy over the weekend watching DVDs of the West Wing and picking out an appropriate algebra textbook for a 35 year-old (me) to take photos.

ALGEBRA? What's up with that? Maybe there will be more on that later. Given the fact that I'm also watching a show that has been off the air for several years (while my friends all watch Lost and Heroes), I'm not sure I want to admit how much more of a geek I am.

Quick knitting update: I finished Mystery Sock #1 and am almost done with Kathy's Sock #2. Kathy's socks will be presented to Kathy on Turkey Day, and perhaps she will wear them in early December when she has her eye surgery. I wore hand knit socks to my eye surgery, and I think that was the key to success. That or the Yale and Harvard educated surgeon.

Over the weekend, I will whip up a pair of mittens to donate to the Mitten Fairy at the Yarnery. Then I will start this.

Oh, and I finally checked out Twist Collective. I think I love this and this. And this is pretty cool too. How have I never known about this website? online magazine? Whatever it is, I love it.

The Little Guy had tubes put in his ears today. He came through with flying colors! Yay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Too Lazy To Post Tuesday

(I like the Too...to..Tue in the title!)

Obviously, I'm not too lazy since I am posting. I am lazy in the sense that I just wanted to share some links, so there is not much of my own content.

My sister, who is a mom, reads several "mommy blogs". She's the one who turned me on to dooce, who is so famous she was on the Today show a few months ago. She also reads Mom to the Screaming Masses. I don't read this much (ever) but since I am staying with her for a few days, I spied it on the Macbook. In the post yesterday, she gives recipes for flavored liqueurs. Cool! My step mom makes her own amaretto. Maybe she will post her recipe in the comments.

Sara B. sent me this link months ago. I just think it's such a great story, and I saw this security guard the last time I was at the Minneapolis Public Library. He looked shorter in person, but then I remembered that in the picture, he is standing next to a little kid. There are some really good people out there!

And last but not least, the Yarnery now has a Facebook page! I joined. You should too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

How Did I Do?

Weekend Knitting Accomplishments

1) Ribby Cardi Zipper - A total bust. I didn't even touch it!

2) Finished the foot on the Mystery Sock and downloaded the final clue...the toe!

3) Cast on for Kathy's Sock #2 and knit 3 rows so far.

4) Yarn Purchase at the Yarnery. Semi-successful. I didn't see anything that screamed at me, "I am the yarn for your sweater!" which is odd because there was much beautiful yarn there and everyone was so helpful. My mom did get some yarn, so it wasn't a total loss. Afterwards, we drove over to Borealis Yarns, where I got More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and the booklet, the Magic Loop. Happy Birthday to me!

I am spending the next few days with my sister and the Little Guy. Her hubby is out of town, so we are living together, for a bit, just like in the old days. Except with a toddler.

The Little Guy was up and talking to himself in his crib for a bit this morning. When his light goes on, he knows it is time to get up, so he will then call out, "Everybody! Come in!" This morning he called out, "Come in, Mimi!" Awww....how cute is that?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gonna Get Me Some Yarn

I have big knitting plans for the weekend. This morning as I walked to the busstop, I decided this weekend I want to:

1) Sew the zipper on my Ribby Cardi. I finished the knitting in FEBRUARY.
2) Complete the foot on Mystery Sock #1. Here is where I left off with it before my surgery. I feel sort of so-so about this sock. I like the stitch pattern, but am not so crazy about how the yarn is pooling.

3) Cast on for Kathy's Sock #2.
4) Go to the Yarnery with my mom on Sunday (she has never been there!) and buy some birthday yarn to make this (ravelry link). I know, my birthday was two months ago. It's taken me some time to decide what I wanted.

Mom didn't really go for the "eye surgery yarn" idea. Oh well.

Speaking of my eye, it's doing much better. Vision is still blurry, partly because my eye is dilated I am sure. The gas bubble in my eye disappeared overnight, so I no longer have to wear my bright green wrist band. Yay! It was getting annoying.

Last night D and I went to the Longfellow Grill for some grub. We are both too lazy to cook. I shouldn't say that about him. I am too lazy to cook. The macaroni and cheese there is REALLY good.

Afterwards, we stopped in to Corazon, a fun little gift shop, kind of like Patina or the Bibelot Shops, but with better greeting cards. I bought this one.

And the inside:
So true. So true.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Happened, Mimi?

That is what the Little Guy asked me Saturday night when he saw me with my eye patch. He then gave me his blue puppy and put a floor rug over me.

So cute...meaning the Little Guy...obviously not me. See below.

I was very lucky in that I did not have to spend my weekend in face-to-the-floor position. That was a possibility, but the opthamologist/surgeon told me I didn't need to do that. I trust him because he went to Yale and then Harvard Medical School.

I spent the better part of my weekend laying around with my eyes closed. I had a hard time keeping my good eye open, so I listened to a lot of Minnesota Public Radio and asked D for a report on the book he is reading about Abe Lincoln. Good times.

The surgery went well. I had scleral buckle surgery done. They also injected a tiny gas bubble in to my eye to push my retina back in place, so I get to wear a lovely bright green medic alert bracelet until it dissolves. No nitrous oxide for me or I could go blind! Oh, and I have two stitches in my eye. Scratchy!

My eye is still pretty swollen and I have eye drops that keep my pupil dilated, so vision is not great yet. I go back next week for a follow-up, but from what the doctor saw Saturday morning it looks like it was successful.

Plan on some knitting content soon! I did no knitting this weekend, but got a little done before the surgery.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's About Time For Some Change!


As I rode the bus home last night, I passed many groups of people in the street, waving signs, yelling and cheering. The excitement was...exciting! I can't remember ever being so excited to cast my vote before!

I was lucky that I did not have to wait in line at all to vote. I was in and out of the polling place within 5 minutes. I didn't watch much of the election coverage because I went to bed pretty early. First thing I did when I got up though was turn on the TV and do a little dance around the living room.

Yes, I am pleased.

Tomorrow is the big day for me...eye surgery. I'll post as soon as I can to let everyone know how it went. Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Monday, November 3, 2008

You Cannot Knit When Your Pupils Are Dilated

You can't. Really. I tried.

I had an interesting day, and not in a particularly good way. On the other hand, I know it could have been worse, and I'm thankful.

Ha ha ha...how do you like my soap opera style writing? Ya know how in soap operas it always takes about an hour for someone to actually TELL something.

Well, for about the last week, I've noticed the peripheral vision in my right eye has been lacking. It was a bit troubling to say the least. This morning I went to the doctor, and after waving her hands around in front of me, she decided I should go see the opthamologist and get an MRI and maybe see a neurologist for good measure.


First stop was the opthamologist, where there was more waving of hands and wiggling of fingers (the technician's, not mine) which determined that indeed...no peripheral vision.

The the dreaded dilating of the pupils. I tried, I really tried to knit for a bit, but after about 5 minutes, the world was blurry and bright and I leaned back and shut my eyes.

In a bit in came Opthamologist #1 who was very kind and as I described my symptoms to him said, "Well, let's check it out, my friend". Sort of like John McCain.

He shone that really bright light in my eyes, looked around a little bit, wrote some stuff down, and told me I had a retinal detachment. Lucky me though, their retinal specialist was in the office today!

Opthamologist #2 came in and did the same thing. Then he did it some more while shoving my eyeball all over the place. Ugh. Not comfortable. I whimpered at one point.

Then he said, "Surgery", and my chin quivered a bit, kind of like the Little Guy right before he cries. Unfortunately, he's leaving the country tomorrow and just in case there was a problem, he didn't want to do it today and then be far, far away. He also told me I did not need an MRI. No brain problem here. Just my retina detacthing from my eye. Come on retina! It isn't enough that my vision is so horrible I have trouble finding my glasses when I set them down?

Thursday morning I have an appointment to have eye surgery. Of course, I'm a little scared and I have all kinds of questions. The only question I thought to ask today was, "Can I go to my tap dancing class tomorrow?" The answer was no, I should avoid activities where I bounce around.

The opthamologist described it as "urgent, but not an emergency". He also drew a nice picture showing me how the retina is detached from the bottom of my eye. So, I need to have surgery soon so I don't go blind in my right eye.

On the bright side, I get to make like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop and say, "It's not a tumor!"

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Geocaching

Yesterday was a beautiful day! After my Arabic dance class, I decided it would be shame to stay inside so I called D to see if he was up for some Geocaching. Of course he was!

We headed down to the walking path along Mississippi River Blvd in St. Paul. I love my neighborhood and just one of the reasons is being within walking distance of the river and the walking/running/biking/rollerblading-get-knocked-over-by-a-130lb-Newfoundland path (a story for another day).

Just off the main path, a few feet into the woods, is another hidden, more woodsy path. It was there we found the caches.

We found several DinoCaches. In the very last one were three new caches, with a note letting us know we could take one and hide it somewhere. We just need to use "DinoCache" in the title. We took one called Apatosaurus because it reminded me of Judd Apatow. I found the first one and I was so excited!

We did a lot of traipsing through the woods. There is a fairly steep gorge (well, it some spots it is a sheer drop off) down to the river, maybe 100 feet below (I am a terrible judge of distance, so don't quote me on that). In some spots, I thought the trail was a little scary, so I became the nagging girlfriend, telling D, "Hey! Stop looking at stuff on your iPhone! Stop it!"

We also found two caches left by Pack 67. The first one was the only one we had trouble with. It was also here that I discovered I had left our pen in the last cache. On Well.

There were still a few Dinocaches to find. Here is my model-geocaching pose with one of them.

The final cache was hidden in a treacherous spot. Well, I thought so, but I'm afraid of falling down, so...my tolerance for treacherously hidden geocaches may be low.

All in all, we went 5-for-5 with the caches, much better than our experience last weekend. In case any of you are interested, our geocaching "handles" are Gustie97 and OleGal96. I think we should call our team "MIAC Rulez" or maybe "Two dorks from small, private, Lutheran, liberal arts colleges in southern Minnesota who Geocache". You can search for us on the geocaching website.