Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

King Richard's Faire

Last Saturday The Boy and I went. I'd been a few times back in the day when I was married. I think we may have even brought the The Boy once, back when he was The Baby. (And The Boy went once with his dad, maybe 4 or 5 years ago.)

Anyway, we went, and had a grand time. I don't have any pictures, because my camera decided it didn't want to work that day. We went on several rides, which I never would have thought to go on if Jake hadn't been with me and wanted to go, and had a lot of fun on them. Jake marveled at how they made rides without electricity or technology. I thought that was pretty observant of him. We watched two jousting tournaments, which were obviously staged, but still great fun. I had a field day looking at Things To Put In My Hair. I bought a flowered garland, and embarrassed the boy by wearing it all day. I also bought some hair sticks. There were sooooooo many displayed and they were all so beautiful, it took me forever to pick which ones I wanted. I loved them so much that I spent much of this past week trolling the internet, looking for supplies to make my own to sell on Lollybeads.

I also saw these really beautiful hair wraps, similar to
I didn't buy them, because there's only so much I can spend on my hair in one day, but I found the merchant's web site, and I can get them any time I please!

I also got Jake a way-too-expensive-for-what-it-is wooden, painted sword, because a boy can never have too many swords, and, well, his mom had already spent so much money on herself that there was really no way to tell him 'no'.

I wore my "Joss Whedon Is My Master Now" shirt, and I got so many compliments on it! Apparently the Renaissance Faire is where all 'my peeps' congregate.

Cool beans.

Office update # ???

I heard back from the HR lady, she referred me to the local HR chick. I'm not even sure why I didn't go to her in the first place...

Anyway, I emailed her Friday morning, and she replied that we should get together to talk that day. Cool beans. So we met in her office, I gave her the doctor's note, and she asked some questions about what I was experiencing (physically) and when, and if I've been to the doctor and if I've had to miss work, etc. And she asked what I'd experienced in attempting to get this keyboard drawer. I definately got a sense that the second I told my supervisor that my injury seemed to be related to the typing, that he (or maybe his boss?) was supposed to report the whole mess to HR. And, as we all know, they didn't. I'm kinda thinkin' someone is going to be in some sort of trouble for this oversight.

So HR chick said she'd get the ball rolling as quickly as possible to get my keyboard drawer, and I would be able to have some input as to what one to get. And she also opened a claim with their Workman's Comp insurance company. We will need to wait to see if the claim is approved or not (by the insurance co) but if it is, the medical bills will be paid by them. I wonder if I can get reimbursed for all my co-pays and medication. That would be cool.

But really, all I really want is my gorramn drawer! Which I should be getting very soon.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Update #4

Saw the doctor again this morning. Got two shots. He noticed my right hand is swollen. I hadn't noticed.

The next step is the nerve conduction test on Nov. 5.

And here's the email that I just shot off:

Hi [Head of Human Resources],
Since early September, I have been being treated for shoulder and neck problems, and hand numbness. These problems are stemming from poor posture at my workstation. My job entails typing all day, and as I am short, I find that the keyboard is too high for me and forces me to reach at a bad angle to do my job. More than a month ago, I requested through my supervisor, a keyboard tray that would install under my desk to hold my keyboard and mouse in a lower position, which will allow me to do my work in the correct posture. My supervisor has taken my repeated requests to his superiors, but for some reason I am being met with resistance. The only explanation I have received so far is that if they get me one, they have to get everyone one. This makes no sense to me, because the majority of the employees here are taller than me, and I'm sure the majority can type comfortably with their keyboards where they presently are. (Furthermore, if other employees are in need of the same tray, then shouldn't they get them?)

I have been more than patient. Each week I ask my supervisor if there is any news, and each time he has no answers for me. Every day that I continue to work in this posture is hindering my recovery, as well as continuing to cause further injury. My productivity has suffered, and I have missed work for numerous doctors’ appointments. I have also had to pay more than $200.00 so far on doctor’s visits and medications. I feel that my request is very reasonable and should have been quite a minor issue, but over the past month, has become a major one for me.

I am shocked at the lack of concern that this company has shown toward me. In fact, as I type this, I can hear much activity in the conference room next to my cubicle, as tomorrow's Halloween party is being prepared for. I wonder how much time and money is being put into this frivolous event, while I am being refused a simple $30.00 piece of equipment that will greatly improve my health.

Two days ago I did receive an ergonomic keyboard, as part of a "test" to see if these will benefit the employees overall. It does put my wrists in a better position, but as I still need to reach up to type, it does not alleviate my problems.

I would like for you to please review this situation as soon as possible. I need a keyboard tray to be installed as soon as possible. I have received a letter from my doctor stressing my need for this tray, and can provide it to you.

My doctor has also advised me to get an Ergonomic Evaluation. If you can advise me on how to go about that, I would appreciate it.

[pissed off mouse]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bad Attitude...I Has It

So, I'm speaking writing to you from my new ergonomic keyboard. I got it yesterday. I am something quite less than enthusiastic about it. I emailed my supervisor last week asking if there was any news on my requests for the keyboard tray and keyboard, and I didn't get an answer. So I emailed him again yesterday morning, and then spent the rest of the day getting angrier and angrier that they won't get me my fucking keyboard tray. I am really starting to feel like they don't give a shit about me, and why should I bust my ass for this company when they obviously don't give a shit if my fucking arm falls off. I had also left a message at the rheumitologist's office last week asking if they would provide me with a note stating that given my condition, the keyboard drawer would be very beneficial to me. And I hadn't heard back from them, either. So yesterday was just a pissed off, frustrating day for me. Then they gave me the keyboard, and I think they thought I'd be thrilled. But I'm really not. Because I AM STILL REACHING TOO HIGH TO TYPE AND USE THE MOUSE. This fucking keyboard is not going to help me without the fucking tray I need! If anything, it's a little harder, because the upward curve of this keyboard makes me have to reach even more. And to top it off, my doctor called me about 10 minutes after I got the keyboard, and seemed very resistant to writing the note. I had to practially beg him. So I was in a royally pissed off, frustrated mood yesterday.

Here's my wallpaper on my work PC:

And also, sorry this is so pissy and bitchy. I may very well delete this later.

PS: I've been here for an hour now and haven't actually done any work yet.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shoulder update #3

I went to the rheumatologist again last week (not this week that just went by, the one before that). I received two more shots, and a refill, at a stronger dosage, of the muscle relaxers. And now I've got numbness and tingling on and off in my hand, so the rheumatologist also wanted me to have a nerve conduction test (EMG), which will be done by the Orthopaedics department. Apparently the fact that the pinky finger is involved is a bad thing. And, funny thing about the numbness: I described it to the doctor as being at the bottom of my hand, meaning the palm and palm-side of the fingers, not the top. It wasn't until later that I read that this specific area of numbness is a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. I also got some neck x-rays at that appointment. My next appointment with rheumatology is next week, and the EMG is the following week. I'm pretty sure there will be an MRI involved at some point, too.

The rheumatologist left a message on my answering machine two days ago, with the results of the x-rays. I called him back and spoke to him yesterday. It seems that my neck is in a spasm: my neck bones are straight, and they should be in a "C" shape. You know, for a very long time now, I sometimes catch myself with my head forward and down without realizing I'm doing it. I always thought it was just a bad habit and poor posture. Apparently not. So the treatment is more shots, more muscle relaxers, and better posture, especially at work, where I type all day. Oh, and I also have some Osteoarthritis in my C5-C6. So, that should be real fun for me later in life, when it gets worse. Excellent!

And this got very long, so I've made the rest of the update into a new entry, below.

Update #3, part 2: The office saga

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but since this whole thing started, I've been trying to get my employers to get me a keyboard tray (to mount under the desk, therefore lowering the keyboard). As it is, I am reaching too high, pulling my elbows out, and bending my wrists to type. And I am quite sure, now, that this has a lot to do with my condition. I am short. My chair is pulled up as high as it will go, and I have a footstool so that my feet and legs are positioned properly. But I have a short torso. I even have to buy 'petite' sized shirts, as the ones for the regular people just don't fit right. So even though my chair is high and I have a footstool, it cannot make my arms be high enough in proportion to the desk. I actually asked for a keyboard tray over a year ago, well before I was having any problems, just because I knew this was a bad position for me. They 'looked into it', but then the whole matter just dropped, and I didn't pursue it. Now, I'm pursuing it again. It's been weeks. I am going through my supervisor, who is a good guy and I think it being straight with me. The hold up seems to be that if they get me a keyboard drawer, they have to get everyone one (probably 50 people or so). [eyeroll] And they are hesitant to get everyone one now because there could be personnel changes coming up and therefore desk-configuration changes, and they don't want to install all these keyboard drawers only to have to remove them again to change all the desks. Every week I ask my supervisor if there's any progress, but there never is. Well, there is a little. They've actually gone ahead and ordered 5 ergonomically correct keyboards, that (hopefully) will look something like this:

Apparently the PTB have noticed that many of the employees who type all day wear wrist braces. DUH! So they've ordered 5 of these keyboards to run a 'test' to see if it helps. I will be one of the recipients. So this is progress, but not enough. This keyboard will not benefit me if I still have to reach up too high to type with it. I really can't understand their attitude of "if we give her one we have to give everyone one". Well, I do understand, from a political correctness point of view, but certainly not from a practical point of view. Many employees (well, nearly all) are taller than me. I'm sure MANY of them can type comfortably with the keyboard on the desk, as it is. Can't they just offer the drawer to whomever feels they need it? Or to everyone under 5'4"? I even told my supervisor that I am willing to purchase and install my own drawer, and to find out if that would be ok. He's asked them, but there has not been an answer yet. It's getting crazy. It's been over a month. I'm feeling very much like they just don't care what happens to their employees. I believe that they've already decided 'no', but don't want to tell me 'no', so they plan to just ignore me until I go away. But I can't go away, because this is damaging my body. So yesterday I left a message at the doctor's office, asking if they can provide me with a note that states that I NEED a keyboard drawer. So we'll see what happens. If that doesn't pan out, I will be telling my supervisor that I AM going to buy my own and install it, and I don't care whether they like it or not.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Best. Commercial. Ever.

Sweet. Figured out what the problem was. All is good now.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


One of Alan Tudyk's movies, Meet Market, is available for preorder on Amazon. I was delighted to find Alan featured on the cover.

And is it just me, or is he wearing a Firefly tshirt???
(The same shirt that Adam Baldwin is wearing here.)

(click for larger image)

So cool!!! Is it possible for me to love him even more??

Sunday, October 7, 2007


The Boy is doing much better. He hasn't had a fever since Friday. He's been able to fall asleep and stay asleep every night. His chest muscles stopped hurting yesterday. Ice cream and video games will cure anything, I tell you. Oh, and the meds, of course. I don't think it's teh Plague. I think it's just the Croup.

So far, we've watched Logan's Run, Death Race 2000, and Soylent Green. (I decided I needed to see these after reading last week a Top 50 list of Distopic Movies...and now I see that there's a meme borne out of it!) We also have Equilibrium, that I hope we will get to today.

I went to the school on Friday to pick up his homework. So today he will need to do some school work so he doesn't fall too far behind.

Tomorrow is a school holiday but I have to go to work. Before he got sick we were planning on leaving him home alone for the day. But now my parents are coming tonight to watch him tomorrow while I'm at work. Truth be told, I think he's well enough now to stay alone anyway. But it will be nice to have them visit.

I think.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

We's haz teh plague...

Jake's asthma (or, what I thought was his asthma) has been acting up this week. Which meaning coughing. Lots of coughing. We've been treating it with the inhalers but it hasn't helped. Finally last night around 9pm I brought him to the Emergency Room for a couple of nebulzer (sp?) treatments. Went home around 11:30, but by 12:30 he was coughing literally every 5 to 10 seconds and could not sleep. He was miserable. By the time we got back to the hospital, it was a 'barking' cough. To try to make a long story short:

  • They think it's either the Croup or Whooping Cough (!!!)
  • He had to endure his first I.V. ever for fluids and for I.V. steroids. He HATES needles. But he was SO brave. I'm very proud of him.
  • He was given so many meds at the hospital to try to make the cough stop enough for him to sleep that I kind of lost track so I honestly can't list them all.
  • He had chest and neck x-rays. The chest is clear, but the neck showed the constrictions common with the Croup.
  • He also developed a fever.
  • He FINALLY stopped coughing long enough to sleep from around 5:30 - 6:30 this morning at the hospital.
  • I got to sit up in a chair (nodding off a little) all night, which did wonders for my shoulder, I assure you.
  • They had to take some kind of nasty culture which consisted of shoving a wire up his sinus cavity, which was ever-so-pleasant for him. This will go off to the State Lab, who will most certainly come execute us all if he does turn out to test positive for teh Plague. (read: Whooping Cough)
  • He was discharged at 7am. We arrived home around 7:30 and he slept quietly (thank God!) until 2pm today.
  • He is now on Prednesone, Zithromax, cough meds with Codine, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol.
  • He missed school today and will miss it tomorrow. Monday is a school holiday anyway, so we've got at least five days quarantined here at the homestead. I've rented a bunch of movies to tide us over.
  • Even if he does have teh Plague, he will no longer be contagious by Monday, because of the Zithromax. Of course, I will have come down with it myself by then, anyway.
In conclusion:
ER visit: $75
Cool Mist Humidifier: $25
Five million prescription meds: $45
One bucket o'ice cream: $5
The boy sleeping reasonably comfortably through the night: Priceless.