Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oliver's Eye

I can't really tell if his eye is getting better. But, he's a good
little patient. Just sits there while I gently pry his eye open and
dump medicinal sludge into it three times a day.  This morning, I put
a few of his pills in a hot dog and offered them to him. He turned
away. So, I mixed two other pills into his food. When he was "done"
eating, there was at one side of the dish, a tiny little pile of food
with a tiny little pill balanced on top, and on the other side of the
small dish was another tiny little mound of food with the other little
pill on top.

Hm. I'm unimpressed.

I fished them out and put all the pills he needed to take into hot dog
again and plopped them in the bowl.
He looked in his bowl, "Oyo!  Hot dogs! Lucky me!"  and ate them right
up as though he hadn't just rejected them one-and-a-half minutes


Well, at least he's a weirdo who's eating his pills!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Strange News

Today I am on a business trip and my good friend Libby was very sweet
and took dear Oliver to a specialist to have his eye looked at in my
absence. She called from the eye doc office to get help answering
questions about him. Towards the end of the vet visit, she called back
to fill me in, "He has an age-related ulcer on his eye" she told me, "
And, she doesn't think he's four-years old, she thinks he's nine." she
told me this in a calm, sympathetic voice because she knew how I might

(That's how I wanted to react, but I didn't.)

They had removed the ulcer in some gross, alien-probe way and he now
has "More drugs to take than an HIV patient."  Poor little man will be
in his cone collar for another two weeks or more while he heals.

Libby called back a bit later, after the vet had dilated Ollie's pupil
to establish more specifically, how old he is. "He's more like seven
or eight years old." she told me. The vet said his age must have been
established by the look of his teeth, which are apparently in great
shape, implying he's younger than he is. Well, at least he'll grow old
and have healthy teeth to eat with...if he liked eating, that is.

I just lost four years with my dog. What an unbelievable bummer. He's
still my puppy though.

Good little puppy. Good boy.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Someone asked me recently, if I was to travel, how long would I go for
and in what style would I do it?

The question stumped me a bit. Do answer the question as though I am
not a diabetic reliable on all sorts of pharmaceuticals that don't
travel well? I thought about it - traveling not as a diabetic, but
then I realized that I couldn't do it. I couldn't even pretend, for
question answering sake that I was without my condition. I have been
diabetic for too long to think of life being any other way. And I
claim to have a good imagination!?

There are certain places in the world I am not too interested in
going.  I don't really want to go to any third-world countries. But,
is that because I'm a person who likes a bit of comfort at the end of
the day, not so into backpacking and pitching tents? Or is that the
fear of being somewhere with no good medical care readily available?
Ok, well, diabetic or not, I enjoy healthy food, a clean bed, and a
shower from time to time.

I think if I had a chunk of time to spare, and some money, I would
like to go to a place where I could kind-of live for a time. Although
still, going to a continent and wandering it a bit would be
interesting too. Depending on the wandering style. I'll admit I'm not
the type to enjoy squeezing into a rickety bus packed with people and
their chickens in cages for a ride to what may or may not be the
designation I am trying to get to.

This is the part where I realize I have some stereotypical Swiss in
me. I say this because I have found that I am not a huge fan of
wandering in an unfamiliar place. I like a plan. I did wander lots
while in Madrid a few years back and I did love that. But, I think to
plop down into a country I hadn't researched too much and just say,
ok, I'll walk in this direction and see where it takes me. I would
constantly be wondering if all the good stuff was in the other
direction. The other direction, which I am now walking away from. And,
as I wandered, I'd wonder, am I there yet? Oh, no, wait, I'm just
wandering, so I might be there yet, or maybe I'll be there shortly.
Where the hell is "there"?

And yet, I do believe in the theory that the adventure is into he
getting there. Oh, wait, I still don't know where "there" is.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Wednesday I met with a representative from minimed. She hooked me
up to a real time sensor and I will be wearing it til Friday. I am
displeased. My doctor has be doing this in an effort to tighten up my
sugar control. I'm doing quite well actually, but if there is a way to
make it better, I'm all for it too.

Unfortunately, it began to bleed when she put it in. This is not
painful. Just unsightly. Considering I will not be taking it out for
another day, it's gotten a bit unpleasant looking. The sensor is
suppose to track my sugars by reading them, every five minutes,
through the skin (the small cannula does not go into blood, it's just
subcutaneously like my pump cannula.

The sugars coming from the sensor do not match my finger
all! They are suppose to match.

So, while I was hopeful that this may be the new tool of the future,
something that will help me tighten my sugar control and avoid
pricking my finger 47 times a day, it doesn't look like we have it
just yet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Conversations With a Three-year-old

I am crouched down and at his eye level. He walks up to me and points
at his chest, on which is a picture of a rhino, "Look!" he says,
excited, "A pig!"
"Well, close," I tell him, "What kind of looks like a pig but has a
horn? It's a rhino, right? You have a rhino on your shirt!"
"Ok!"  he says, then, looking down, "My shoes are black!"
"Yes, I see!"
"And I have sleeves!" he adds, tugging at his shirt.
"What color are your sleeves?" I ask him.
He looks and debates, then turns his face up to me, answering before
meandering off, "Lellow!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Had a "What If" Today

This morning, I had the pleasure of going to my dentist to have some
fillings re-filled. Super-fun! He had to give me about four shots of
Novocain because it appeared that my nerve tough to get to. Some

After the dentist, I went to Home Depot to buy some chicken coup wire
to wrap around the lower part of my porch in an effort to keep the
feral cats away. To get to my "what if"... I was wandering the store,
trying not to chew off my tongue when a Home Depot employee asked as
he passed, "Hi! How are you?"

In my head, I immediately responded, loudly, as though I was not only
numb in the mouth but numb in the head, but also had no voice

"My tun ith nun!"

I giggled to myself for quite a while after that.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Graduating Grandma

On Friday I headed down to Boca to photograph Bathsheva Weinstein. She
was an 81 woman who would be receiving her diploma from Florida
Atlantic University during it's summer graduation.

I shadowed her for a little while, while she waited with the other
graduates for the start of the ceremony. She told me all about herself
and her family. Her father, who died at 103, never believed a girl was
worth educating. So, when she was done with eighth grade in Canada,
she was sent to work.

Her husband told me, "I supported her by schlepping her around!" he
said me proudly when we met. He had driven her to all her classes for
years. It took her a very long time to get her degree. She had to
start by getting her GED.
Her whole family was there; Ivan newell, who had dropped the
"Weinstein" and made his middle name his last name for some reason,
was there with his daughter who lives in Ithaca. Brian and his new
wife came from Utah. Bathsheva told me backstage that Brian, who wears
a ponytail, wears a wig when he flies for his airline because the boss
won't allow long hair. No one has figured out why he wears this wig.
After the ceremony, I razzed Brian about it, "Geez, what ELSE did she
tell you back there?" he laughed.  Ellen and her husband and daughter
came down from Boston for the big day.

After photographing the family before the ceremony, and following
along with Bathsheva before she went into the auditorium, I watched
the ceremony. I got to thinking about my graduation from Ohio
University. Did mine take a really long time, and did I care that it
took a long time? Bathsheva's graduation dragged on and on. I was
grumpy at this point. Don't I have what I need to get out of here?
But, I knew I might be able to get something better, and the editor
told me I had some time before my deadline so I could just hang out.
And hour and a half in, they were just starting to give the masters
degrees. They did this slowly and while I did desperately want to
gouge my eyes out with boredom, I simultaneously understood that the
slowness makes sense. After all that work, the least society could do
is sit the hell still while you slowly made your way across that stage
to take your recognition for all your years of hard work.

But, I still struggled, 'cause after all, it was your idea to do all
that hard work and I'm really bored sitting here waiting for you to
get your recognition. Celebrate your triumph in your head. Get on with
it already.

Once they got to the bachelor's degrees, it moved right along. They
had announced in the opening remarks that there was an 81-year old
graduating that evening. It was moving to see, that even in their
clear twitchiness to get out of there after this long ceremony, the
place went crazy when Bathsheva took the stage. The president of the
university took Bathsheva's hand and raised it above her head as
though she had just defeated Mohammed Ali.

I thoroughly enjoyed the long drawn-out cheering for Bathsheva,
picking up her Bachelor's degree in History. She had earned it, after
starting her journey of higher education twelve years ago.

Afterwards, I stood outside with her while she nervously waited for
her family to meet up with her. The crowd flowed out the door and it
was as though Bathsheva was in a receiving line. She got so many
"Congratulations!", "What an accomplishment", and "You're an
inspiration!", and even one "Mazeltov!". She turned to me and said
with a smile, "I'm getting tired of saying thank you!" but she said to
everyone else, "Thank you! It was hard work!"

Often when I shoot I find it difficult to rally troops within my
brain. I find myself shooting and not slowing down to chat with the
people I'm photographing. It is one of my flaws. It was impossible to
not enjoy myself when I was with this family. They were welcoming and
fun and quick to laugh. Bathsheva and her "Am I supposed to be
excited? I don't feel excited yet!" and her husband Melvin in his
giant bow tie. Brian and his pilot wig story and Ivan, who's voice you
would hear on his cell if you called and got his voice-mail, "I'm out
of the office attending my 82-year old mother's college

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Water Parks

I was at lunch with Libby the other day, on a break from our Saturday
work shifts. She had just come from a water park. It's miserably hot
here, anywhere you go.

She grumbled about it, "Ugh. I'm convinced hell is a giant American water park."

Well said. I am already behaving better to avoid my watery, hot
miserable fate surrounded by people wearing bikinis they shouldn't be