Category Archives: Rant

Working on the chain gang

When Scarlett was born, she was jaundiced, which meant we had to stay at Mount Sinai for far too many days while she screamed under the lights.

While my name was on the list for a private room (and I did eventually get one the last night we were there), I spent my entire stay with a series of moms and babies, each of whom was dumber than the last. I’m talking about the moms, but I do wonder how those kids are faring in SK. Seriously.

The worst was a mom who had a giant entourage that spent her entire stay eating Burger King and sounding like extras from Jersey Shore. While Chad and I tried to get some sleep, we were forced to listen to some of the most inane conversations I’ve ever been privy to. To wit:

“Did you hear Tony was arrested?”

“No way. Where’d you hear that?”

“From Marie. She heard it from Pauly, who heard it from Angela, who heard it from Donnie who heard it from Ronnie.”

“For real? You really heard that through the grapevine.”

“I know. It’s kind of like the song: ‘That’s the sound of the men working on the chain gang.’”

It took everything within me not to suffocate myself with a pillow.

Today, I was transported back in time to Toronto, circa May 2005 when my mom’s ‘quad’ room, which was sitting at ‘duo’ capacity (remember Olga? She asked me to change her bedpan today) got a third.

Warning bell number one: the nursing staff had to remove the fourth bed to accommodate her guests.

Warning bell number two: her guests consisted of no fewer than 20 men, women and children, each of whom had either a hacking cough, runny nose, PigPen-style cigarette haze, silkscreened shirt with a wolf on it or any combination of the above.

Warning bell number three: this snippet of conversation—“The model had a gun instead of a leg, and she lifted it and shot at the audience.”

Despite pulling the paper thin curtain around my mom’s bed to hide our eyerolls and rage, it didn’t really help. I think my mom was serious when she said she didn’t need the biopsy and would be fine to go home.

The minute I saw the nurse, I grabbed her, pointed at the par-tay in the next bed and said: “This sucks.”

How was my mom, who is going to get her deflated lung cut into tomorrow supposed to get a wink of sleep tonight with Annie Oakely and her gun-limbed fan club?

The nurse said she was on it. She knows, without a doubt, that any patient stuck sharing a room with this crew would request euthanasia, so she was sussing out a private room for them. Not fair (i.e. my mom should get a private room as she’s a model patient), but I understand.

Less than an hour later, all that was left was a film of Cheeto dust and an Eau Du Craven A.

Since then, no fewer than 10 ADDITIONAL guests have stopped by looking for Granny.

The good news is that our grumbling about this freakish family was able to replace our worry about tomorrow’s surgery. Thanks, morons!

The biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow at 2:00 Saskatoon time. I’ll update when I can.

And now, for your listening pleasure…




Filed under cancer, Family, Music, Parenting, Rant, Uncategorized

Trying to be like Pinkalicious


Scarlett has this book called Pinkalicious, about a kid who’s obsessed with all things pink. One day she eats way too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. Wackiness ensues.

When she begs for more cupcakes, her mom repeats an important rule, that has carried over from the page to Scarlett’s own life every time we go into a toy store: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

It’s a good rule, and it works for my kid.

Today, I’m trying to repeat it to myself.

This afternoon, a nurse came into my mom’s room and informed us that she was being moved from her wonderful private room with a beautiful view to a “quad” — a four person…is hellhole too strong a word?

It’s awful. She’s currently sharing with one other woman–a crotchety old bat named Olga. Okay, Olga’s probably not that bad, but I’m feeling grumpy. It sucks to go from privacy and your own bathroom to a pee-smelling communal bathroom with some kind of a weird booster seat on the toilet for old people.

Poor mom. Talk about kicking you when you’re down. We’re trying to find the positives, but truthfully, it sucks. Oh–and the wireless is so spotty up there that I had to come down to the Tim Horton’s to write this blog.

Oh, and if I’ve given you the phone number for her room, it’s now wrong. Call it and you’ll get some heart patient that won the lottery and got my mom’s old digs. Call the switchboard at St. Paul’s hospital. Hopefully they’ll find us.

You get what you get and you don’t get upset…you get what you get and you don’t get upset….


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Filed under Books, cancer, Family, Rant

Everybody loses

A quick update…

They took her in for her biopsy yesterday morning, but it didn’t go at all according to plan. They attempted to do a guided needle biopsy, using a CT scan, but once the needle punctured her lung, it collapsed. The odds of this happening are apparently around 1-2%. They stabilized her and inserted a chest tube, and she’s been resting since.

Now what?

We don’t know. According to her nurse she has no procedures scheduled for today, and last I checked (late last night), she hadn’t even seen her doctor.

What will happen is that I will go there today. Yesterday was torture, waiting for snippets of information as it filtered through from my sister, who wasn’t allowed to use her cell phone on my mom’s floor.

So this morning, I hugged and kissed my sobbing kid goodbye as she left for school, marking what will be the longest period of time we’ve ever been apart.

F- you, cancer. Thanks for making everybody lose.



Filed under cancer, Parenting, Rant, Uncategorized

I’m literally falling apart

Don’t worry–not emotionally, just physically.

I’m trying to hold it together about my mom’s situation (update: no update. She was supposed to be admitted to the hospital yesterday or today, but they haven’t found a bed yet. Sigh.), but the universe is seriously testing my ability to grin and bear it. I feel like someone’s playing a karmic game of Whack-a-Mole with me–I keep getting beaten down, but somehow I’m still managing to pop up.

Let’s start with the hives. If you work with me or are friends with me on Facebook you’ve probably heard some rumbling about my allergy situation. It’s a long and crazy story, but the fact is that for the past several weeks I’ve been plagued by painful, horrible hives on my hands after merely touching an avocado. I’m allergic to avocado, but I didn’t eat it: I cut it for Chad to eat. This led to serious hives that got so bad over a series of days that I had to have my wedding and engagement rings cut off of my fingers. Prednisone cleared them up, but when the medication ended, the hives on my hands came back along with a swollen tongue, mouth and lips that landed me in the ER. I’m currently on my third course of Prednisone as I wait to see an allergist to try and figure out what’s going on. It’s been a frustrating and exhausting month of antihistamines and fantasies of moving into a giant hamster ball.

Then, on Saturday, I took Scarlett to see Yo Gabba Gabba at the Molson Amphitheatre. We had sweet seats in the American Express box with some great friends, and were having a fab time…until I was stung in the neck by a bee. Or a wasp. Or a hornet. I don’t know what it was, but I do know that it hurt like hell and swelled up into a giant golf ball right on my jugular. Luckily, I’ve got an old-lady purse full of medication (thanks, hives!), so I was able to pop an antihistamine right away and keep my Epi-Pen on standby.

Now, today, after a long day of meetings I bit into a piece of candy and pulled my one and only crown off of a back molar.

I am literally falling apart.

So, consider this blog post a warning. If you’re booked on the same flight with me, consider staying on to see the sights. And if we’re in the elevator together and it gets stuck or plummets to the ground floor–well, sorry. It’s just the way things are going these days.

I’m going to buy a bunch of lottery tickets tomorrow. The tide’s got to turn, right?



Filed under Rant

Mind over (Ticket)Master

Kicked out of Ticketmaster

Kicked out of Ticketmaster

I fear this blog post will quickly escalate into a rant. I know this because I can feel the blood boiling in my veins and giant question marks swirling over my head like a cloud of mosquitos in Muskoka. Why? Why? Why do I always fall into the trap of thinking that the world is based on common sense?

So, here’s the story.

A few years ago, I took my mom to the touring show of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. It was, indeed, a Christmas spectacular. My mom was thrilled, and I filed the experience away as something Scarlett would love when she was the right age. It featured glitzy costumes, kicklines, Santa, dancing dolls and bears, and a lot of twirling: perfect for the old and the young.

Yesterday,  I received a pre-sale invitation from MSLE to purchase tickets, and thought I’d buy a pair for Scarlett and I–a little pre-holiday bonding for the two of us. I have some Ticketmaster gift cards and thought this would be a good use for them.

I typed the code into the box for the child’s ticket, and clicked on the drop down menu for number of tickets. Here are the number of tickets I was allowed to buy with the purchase of one adult ticket: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

That’s right. I could buy zero child-priced tickets, or two or more. I couldn’t buy one.

That’s clearly a glitch, I thought, so I fought my way through Ticketmaster’s labyrinthine phone system to speak to an agent, where she assured me that the website was indeed correct. Parents could bring no children or a minimum of two–not one.


So, Ticketmaster, and by extension the Rockettes, are going to fill two fewer seats at their Christmas Spectacular.

Ho ho ho to you, Ticketmaster.



Filed under Rant