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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Attorney & The Glowing Sign

Yesterday, our attorney sent another estate planning attorney to our house. The last one didn't quite work out, for reasons stated previously. I am happy to report that this new attorney was exactly on the same page as Bob and me. He understood that aphasia is a communication disorder and not a reflection of intelligence or competence. He spoke to Bob directly, asking questions and explaining things, instead of speaking over him and to me as the last attorney had done. We were able to start the process of setting up a Special Needs Trust Fund for Bob, which needs to be done before a settlement or going to court, and also drafting new wills, etc., for the both of us.

At the end of this rather delightful interview, the new attorney assured us that we were in "very good hands" with our malpractice attorney and that, he was sure, we would be "well taken care of" and a settlement would be forthcoming, though it may take some time, and not to lose faith, as there was "light at the end of the tunnel." Then he asked me "how on earth" I had managed to "land the finest, most reputable malpractice attorney in the state?"

So I told him the story. Which, I could tell, he thought was rather weird.... and probably thought that I was a bit daft on top of it. But it's a good story and I haven't posted it before. So I thought, I'd share it with you now. And here it is:

After Bob was discharged from the hospital, I contacted an attorney that Bob and I had hired a few years back. This attorney had successfully represented us in the claim against our property insurance company which had refused to pay for damages to our garage. I called this attorney because, truth be told, he was the only attorney I knew, and I asked him if he could refer me to a "good medical malpractice attorney". He asked me what had happened, I told him, and he told me that he "also handled malpractice" and would be happy to look into our case. He then said "not to worry", he'd obtain all the medical records for me. And once he went over them, he'd get back to me.

Now this was probably one of the stupider things I've ever done--agreeing to let this guy handle our case. But what did I know? I thought a malpractice suit was a simple thing, you know, find the error in the medical records and file a lawsuit. And I liked this attorney. He had done a fine job on our property insurance case. And he was getting the records and everything, I wouldn't have to do a thing.

So I waited. When a month or two passed, I called him up. And he was very sorry, but his mother had been hospitalized and he was spending all the time there and hadn't time to look into our case, yet.

Then another month passed, I called him up. He still hadn't gotten around to look at the records.

And on and on this went. Always some excuse. A staffer had quit. Or someone was sick. Or he was busy working on a big case. Later, the excuses would be that "the doctor" was reviewing the file and hadn't got back to him. Often he wouldn't return my phone calls for weeks on end. I would get furious. Then, he'd finally get back to me and tell me, once again, "not to worry" he was on top of it and "these things take time".  And I'd feel better for awhile, until more time had passed....

A year and 6 months after I first contacted that attorney, he contacted me to tell me, sorry, he was not taking the case.

Of course at this point, I rather flipped out. Because there is a 2 year statute of limitations on malpractice lawsuits. We were fast running out of time.

So I got out the phone book and began calling other malpractice attorneys. I called all the Big Ambulance Chasers--you know, the ones with the large ads. I got turned down by every one of them usually because there "wasn't enough time to do a pre-suit investigation" but a couple places told me I "didn't have a case". I googled "medical malpractice attorneys" for our area, and called the ones that looked promising. I was still getting turned down, left and right.

I was getting rather frantic. Then I finally found an attorney who agreed to look at the records, if I could them to him quickly. Problem was that I didn't have the records yet. The first attorney had somehow lost Bob's medical records. I had to order a whole new set. It took over a month to get the records. All 15,000 pages of them. When I finally got the big box of medical records, I rushed them over to this attorney's office. And I waited. With high hopes.

And a week later, we received a form letter in the mail stating that they were not interested in our case. And if I wanted the medical records back, to pick them up ASAP, or they would be shredded!


Of course, this letter put me in another panic. Because now I was not only running out of time, but running out of attorneys to call. I opened the phone book again and stared at the well dog-eared page. I had already called all the ads and was down to a column of just names and addresses and phone numbers. And how do you know which attorney will be the right one? And which will just waste more time?

And then I thought: what am I doing staring at the phone book??? I need to get those damn records back before they are shredded!!!

So I jumped in The Green Machine and off I went to retrieve the big box of records. For some reason, I decided to cut through the local park instead of fight the traffic on the main roads. I think, I was trying to calm myself down. Because truly, I was freaking out. Big time. I was beginning to have doubts. Doubts that I'd ever find an attorney to take the case. Doubts we even had a case. And I was beating myself up--for wasting time, trusting, that first attorney.

It was a beautiful, sunny day. As I drove the curving road around the edge of the park, I remember praying. Not a real formal prayer.  More of a frantic nondenominational plea for help. It went something like this: "Is anyone up there listening? Guardian angels? God? Goddess? The Universe? Saint Jude? Buddha? Anyone at all? Ghost of the Green Machine even? Help!" And I asked for a sign. Just some sort of sign to point me in the right direction and help me find the right attorney...

When I rounded the last curve of that park, something caught my eye. I mean, something just jumped out at me. It was a street sign. Just a normal green and white street sign. But the thing seemed to be glowing. I mean, really glowing. As if it were electrified and standing in a halo of light.


And I thought: Farmington Boulevard?

Farmington Boulevard! There was an attorney in the phone book on Farmington Boulevard.*

That's my sign! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So I retrieved the records and when I got home, I pulled out the phone book. Breathlessly, I called the attorney on Farmington Boulevard. I told the receptionist that I wanted to speak to someone about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit. She transferred me to the top guy in the firm....

Who told me that their firm no longer handled medical malpractice.

And my heart fell. Because evidently, I just imagined that street sign was glowing...

Then the attorney asked me, "just out of curiosity" to tell him about the case. I told him. Afterwards, he said, "You know, maybe I'll make an exception for your case." My heart soared! Then he asked me when it happened. I told him. And he said, "oh dear." Because there was so little time to do a pre-suit investigation, especially with his already backed-up caseload, he didn't think he could do it.  And my heart fell again.

But he said, "Tell you what. I'm going to give you the name of another attorney. He's a guy I play golf with. He's the best in the business. And if anyone can do it on this short notice, he can."

He gave me a toll-free number--as this attorney/golfing buddy was not even located in our area. I'd never even thought of contacting an out-of-town attorney. He told me to tell the receptionist that I had been referred by him. And that I had a medical malpractice case involving "severe brain injury" and my husband was alive....

So I called the number. On a Friday afternoon. The receptionist patched me right through to the attorney. The next week, that attorney came to our house to talk to us and pick up the medical records. And a week later, he filed for a 90 day extension and we signed a retainer with him.

That was in September. The statute of limitations was up in October. I tell you, we just made it by the skin of our teeth.

And that, my friends, is a true story.

*Street name changed to protect the innocent!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The End of PT, for now

Yesterday, I called Outpatient Rehab and cancelled Bob's appointments. All of them.

I tell you, it was a hard thing to do.

But Bob did not want to go to therapy on Friday. And he still did not want to go to therapy on Monday. So we talked about it. Well, "talked" as best you can with someone with expressive aphasia. The reason he gave was that his left foot "hurts" and "ow!" even more when they get him up standing and walking. And I asked him if he wanted to ever go back and he said "no" and then, "sorry, sorry, sorry" with tears in his eyes.

Bob's left foot is his "unaffected" foot which has been crippled by post-stroke dystonia. I have noticed the dystonia getting all around worse, to the point where I cannot even manually uncurl his toes, and his neck is more and more difficult to move and even his left hand has developed "dystonia tremors", making it harder and harder for him to draw....

I talked with his therapist and asked her if it was at all possible to "postpone" Bob's therapy until after the Botox injections. She said that if it was more than 30 days, we'd have to get a new script and get another insurance approval then have a new evaluation and pretty much start over from scratch. But she said she'd be happy to work with him again, after the injections.

So there will be a lot riding on these Botox injections. Like the ability to ever walk again.

I am told there is only a 50/50 chance of the Botox working. Then there is another chance that, even if they work, the effect will wear off long before the insurance will approve another injection. Then there is the chance of weird side effects.

Plus the Botox doctor didn't think it would help Bob's foot. And he didn't even want to try it. Though two other doctors said they thought it would...

We see the Botox doctor in May and I will have to try to convince him to do Bob's toes in addition to his neck. Bob is already on the "injection list" for July.

It looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Futility of Doctors and Their Staff & The Clogged Peg Tube

I've been trying to get Bob's peg tube replaced since January. That's right. January.

This because I am being smart, or so I thought, by staying ahead of the game. Nipping a problem in the bud, before it blooms. Because I know Bob's peg tube is on it's last legs. And would need to be replaced. About right now.

So back in January, I get a referral for a new GI doc from Bob's primary care doctor. Because I don't want to go back to the old GI doc. As he is pretty useless. Not to mention he works out of The Hospital. And we don't want to go back there. For obvious reasons.

In January, I called the new GI doc's office to set up an appointment and am told immediately that they don't take Bob's insurance. Which is weird. Because they are on the insurance company's website. At least I think. So I hang up the phone and go on the insurance company's website and sure enough, they are listed as a provider. So I call the office back up and the receptionist, first, argues with me that my information is wrong. Then finally connects me to someone else, who tells me they do in fact take his insurance. I ask if I can set up an appointment, please. But she wants to know what the purpose of this appointment would be. So I tell her that my husband has a peg tube and it will need to be replaced soon. Then she tells me that this particular GI doctor will not work on a peg tube that he did not put in and I need to go back to the GI doctor who put the peg tube in.


So after another argument, finally, she tells me to have all of Bob's medical records transferred over to their office at which time the GI doc will review them and decide if he wants to take Bob as a patient. And if he decides it's OK, they will contact me for an appointment.

Okey dokey. Though I'm thinking this is really weird. I didn't know that doctors could "pick and choose" which patients they wanted to see.

But I do this, call to have all the records transferred over. And I wait. And I don't hear from them. So, in February, I call the GI doctor's office again, this time I just schedule an appointment. I figure if the doctor doesn't want to see us, well, he can throw us out of the office when we get there.

We went to see the new GI doctor on March 4th. I tell him that Bob's peg tube will need to be replaced soon and I'd like to get it done now, before it starts causing all sorts of problems and the whole thing turns into an emergency. Think: Kaboom! Like his first peg tube did when it burst and split down the side...

The doc looks at Bob's peg tube and agrees that it probably only has a month of life left in it. Then he tells me that Bob will need to stop taking his warfarin five days before the procedure. And I tell him that he cannot go off the warfarin because he has hyper-coagulating blood and is a high stroke risk. And that this is Bob's third tube and both times it was replaced before, the procedure was done while on warfarin. And he tells me that this is too risky and the other doctors were wrong to do the procedure while on the warfarin. We go round for round on this for a bit, then the doctor says he could switch Bob from warfarin to lovenox which is a fast-acting blood thinner, then stop of the lovenox for a "small window of time" during the procedure, then put him back on the warfarin, but he will have to talk to Bob's neuro doctor and discuss how to do this first.

We leave the doctor's office with the promise that once he talks with the neuro doc someone will call me and set up an appointment for Bob's peg tube replacement. And also, he will order a home health nurse to come to our house to administer the lovenox. Which is an injection.

All righty.

Once again I wait. Two weeks pass and no one calls me. So I call the GI doctor's office and after leaving a billion messages, finally, a week later, the nurse calls me back and tells me they are still waiting for a response from the neuro doc to the fax that they sent. So, I call the neuro doc and talk to his assistant who tells me they never received a fax. So I call the GI doctor's office back and leave another billion messages and finally, a week later, the nurse returns my calls and says she will re-fax the request.


And I wait. Again. And no one contacts me.

Meanwhile, Bob's peg tube is getting wonky. That's a technical medical term. Wonky. Meaning, it's clogging every darn morning. It's ballooning up. It's kinking. It doesn't look good.

Now add this to my ever-growing resume: Master of the Clogged Peg Tube. Because after two plus years, I have become an expert on this matter. And you can forget about using Coca Cola, or Adolf's Meat Tenderizer or Hot Coffee or all the other strange old wives tales out there, because the best and fail-safe way to unclog a peg tube is with warm tap water and a cannula brush. First, you run the brush through the tube like a roto-rooter, then flush with warm tap water. This never fails.

Until yesterday....

But I am jumping ahead of myself. Because before yesterday, I once again called the GI doc's office and left two billion more messages and finally, a week later, the nurse calls me back and tells me they are still waiting for a response from the neuro doctor... So I tell her that this is getting pretty ridiculous and Bob's tube is going, I mean, really going. And if it goes, we will end up over at ER and the reason I contacted their office way back in January was to prevent this from happening.... and she asks me if there is another doctor that could respond to their request, so I give her the name of Bob's primary care doctor. She says she will fax the neuro doc again and also fax a request to the primary care doctor.

All right.

And I wait. Again....

Earlier this week, I call the GI doctor's office and leave another billion messages for the nurse, who does not call me back. On Thursday, Bob had an appointment with his primary care doc. So I ask him, if he got a fax, and he did not. So I explain the whole problem and show him how wonky Bob's tube is getting and he tells me that he does not want to get involved with this and I need to make an appointment to see the neuro doc ASAP and discuss this matter with him. Then I tell him that I don't think this GI doctor knows what he's doing and can he refer us to someone else? And he tells me that I should not go hopping from one doctor to another!


Well, I am not about to make an appointment to see the neuro doc because it will take weeks to get in, plus it will cost $35.00 plus the cost of wheelchair transport and I am not spending that kind of money to ask a doctor if he got a fax.

So we get home from the primary doc's office and I call the neuro doc's office and talk to the medical assistant again and she says they still have not gotten a fax from the GI doctor. So I call the GI doctor's office and, miraculously, the nurse answers the phone! I tell you, I nearly fell over dead. And she promises me, promises me that she will walk to the fax machine as soon as she hangs up the phone and fax another request.

That was Thursday.

Which brings me back to yesterday morning.

When for the life of me, I could not unclog Bob's peg tube. I mean, I spent forty-five freaking minutes trying to unclog that tube. Nothing was working. My cannula brush was hitting what seemed to be concrete. The wire end of the brush bending instead of going through. Then tube itself was rock hard in parts and the thing was ballooning, like a long sausage shaped water balloon. I was afraid it might burst. I tried warm water, then HOT water. And I pushed that syringe as hard as I could, and the darn water would burst out through the Y-port and drench both me and Bob. And still the tube was clogged. And I attempted to roto-rooter the tube every which way. I was to the point of meltdown. Furious. The kind of furious where you want to stamp your feet and throw things across the room and GAAAA! scream your head off. And of course I was furious at the doctor's office and the nurse who won't return calls and the faxes which disappear into a black hole. And then I just wanted to sit down in the middle of the floor and cry my eyes out. Because I would have to take Bob to ER if I didn't get the darn thing unclogged, then they would admit him to the hospital to wean him off warfarin, which could take like five freaking days. And oh lord. I needed to get creative here.

I knew the trick was to warm the tube up. So I got a bright idea. I got a big soup bowl out and filled it with hot water. I draped Bob with a big bath towel. Then I took that tube and coiled it like a snake and submerged it in the hot water. Thinking that I could warm it up from the outside. And it seemed to be working because the concrete blockage was no longer rock hard. The tube was growing flexible again. But the problem was that I couldn't get the whole tube into the soup bowl, I mean, especially the part that goes into Bob. So I got another bright idea. I took some wet towels and nuked them in the microwave and then wrapped Bob's tube in them and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, I massaged his tube with my fingers trying to break up the clog.

Then I took the cannula brush and whoo hoo! It went through! But when I tried to syringe water through the tube, all I got was that damnable long sausage shaped water balloon. And nothing else. Except water spewing back out of the Y-port all over me and Bob and the sofa next to Bob's bed.


I was desperate. When your desperate, you resort to desperate measures. So I got out the scissors and I syringed water into the tube until the big sausage shaped water balloon appeared. I pinched the place where the balloon started with my fingers, withdrew the water back into the syringe, then I snipped the tube, cut off the part of the tube where the sausage balloon had appeared, and it was a good six inches, I swear. But now I could see into the tube, see what was blocking it, and weirdly enough, there was nothing there. I ran the brush through Bob's now foreshortened tube, and it went through. So I reattached the Y-port and, lo and behold, was able to syringe in the water. Able to get his morning meds into him.

Easy as that.

That afternoon, I called the neuro doctor's office and talked with medical assistant again because I wanted to make sure she got the fax that was supposedly sent out yesterday. She said that she gotten it. Then she said that they had gotten this same fax three times before and had just filed it, thinking it was for "information purposes only".


You can bet, I will be on the phone again next week. Because I can't keep chopping bits off Bob's tube or soon he'll have nothing left!

Things should not be this hard.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Am I Pushing Him Too Hard?

Bob attempting to stand with the hemi-walker.
The PT is 5'7" and Bob is 6'3"...

Last week, Bob had his re-evaluation at Outpatient Rehab and was approved for four more weeks of therapy. This only because he has an excellent and very kind therapist who tells him, "Bob, if all my patients tried as hard as you do, my job would be too easy."

Truth be told, physical therapy has been a real struggle for Bob this time around. Mainly because the dystonia in his left ("unaffected") foot causes him such great pain each time he attempts to stand up or walk or put weight on it.

Imagine trying to walk with one paralyzed leg/foot that you can't control and are pretty much dragging along, while the other foot is crippled up, all the toes curled under and digging into the ball of your foot and screaming in pain. On top of that, it seems that the dystonia is also attacking his left hamstring and he cannot totally straighten out his left leg. When he stands, he is all hunched over. And of course, he still has that neck problem.

That's what he's dealing with.

I tell you, it breaks my heart to watch him.

The PT's are still optimistic and still trying to get him up on the hemi-walker. So far, Bob has managed to stand with the walker for the count of five. Yesterday, he toppled over backward, taking the therapist with him into his wheelchair!

I do worry that I am pushing him too hard. That he's doing this for me. And that's the only reason. He wants to make me happy. Because he knows how long and hard I have fought to get him back into therapy and get financial aid to pay for it.

But at what price? He is in so much pain.

And the whole struggle with the hemi-walker seems so fruitless. Pointless, really. I am beginning to doubt that Bob will ever walk again....

We did see the new neurologist about Botox for Bob's neck and, hopefully, foot. We have another appointment to consult with the actual doctor who will be doing the Botox in May. Botox is already scheduled, but not until July 2nd. Which will probably be too late for this rehab session.

On a lighter note: last night, the cats were both sleeping, sort of sprawled out on top of the built-in bookcase in Bob's room and Bob saw them and laughed and said to me, "Take a picture!"

Ripley and Zenith
Which I did.

By the way, "Take a picture!" is a very good spontaneous sentence!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

To Blog or Not To Blog?

That is the question. At least, on my mind.

I'm afraid to say, I've grown a bit paranoid. Paranoid to the point of hovering over that "Delete This Blog" button. Ready to send The Pink House into oblivion. Thinking this blog is a big mistake.

This because I received an e-mail from a concerned reader warning me about "revealing too much" here regarding the lawsuit. The Hospital, you know, could be spying on me. Reading my posts daily. Looking for things to use against us. And I should keep this in mind before I post anything.

At first, I was merely flabbergasted. I mean, really, what have I said here but the truth? What, on earth, could be used "against" us?

Because I am a careful person and certainly not so stupid as to spill the beans on any of our attorney's strategies or tactics... But I went back through my posts anyway, looking for anything that would be detrimental to our case. That could be "used against us". Not that I found anything. And pretty much everything I've written about the lawsuit is basic stuff that The Hospital already knows.


I asked a few people who I speak to regularly if they saw anything potentially detrimental or harmful in my blog. Anything that The Hospital could use against us. I was surprised at the response. Which was not so much worry about The Hospital spying on me, but about malicious "others" out there, lurking in cyberspace, who might want to do us harm and/or steal our money.

Jeepers. I hadn't even thought of that.

Not that we have any money to steal, right now. And, heck, if/when we get a settlement, it's all going straight into an untouchable trust fund for Bob's comfort and medical care... That is, if there is any money left, after the lawyer takes his cut and all the insurance companies, who are already lining up, grab their paybacks. Heck, we'll be lucky to have two nickels to scrape together at the end of the day.

But over and over I heard, be careful what you write, Diane. Be careful. And this: Diane, you are too trusting. And this: remember all those horrible stories about what happens to lottery winners. (Think: robbery, murder, mayhem and all sorts of scumbags coming out of the woodwork to grab a piece of the pie...)

Not that winning a lawsuit is anything like winning the lottery. 

I tell you, I'd drop this lawsuit in an instant if they could just give me my husband back. The way he used to be, you know, before he entered The Hospital's facility: i.e. walking, moving both arms, talking, eating, sleeping in the same bed as me...

Am I too trusting? Or is everyone else just being paranoid? Should I be paranoid? And just thinking about this stuff, heck, it's making me paranoid. I tell you, paranoia is contagious.

This past week or so, there have been a few times when I've wanted to blog about some particular issues and just literally froze in front of the computer. Terrified that someone could/would use a particular post or sentence or word of mine against Bob and me. And wavering back and forth about what is "safe" to say. Then doubting myself. And then doubting my doubt. Then deciding it's probably better to say nothing at all... just to be safe.

But not to blog just about kills me.... so I wrote about lizards and eggs and rainy weather and posted some cute cat pictures instead. Safe stuff. I think.

Am I being paranoid? Should I be paranoid? Have I said too much?

PS: I disabled the "word verification" for comments,  and am hoping to get some feedback on this post!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

About Those Lizards....

First the car, then the wheelchair ramp and now....
they are trying to break into the house...

It's a good thing Zenith is on security duty...

And that she has back up!

And yes, Jo, I do have GEICO insurance. But it's up for renewal next month.....

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It was a Dark and Stormy Day....

The kind of day that you just want to stay inside
and watch horror movies but...
Bob had a doctor's appointment.
Three blocks away.
I had planned to push him there in the wheelchair.

Of course, the old brick street in front of our house was flooded.
And I would have cancelled that appointment but--
the doctor has an evil policy
and if you reschedule two appts. in a row,
they charge you $50.00....
and I had already rescheduled his last appointment.

So we geared up. I had bought a couple of rain
ponchos last year. This was the first time we used them.
I bought them because it is darn near impossible to carry an umbrella and push a wheelchair.
I tell you, I laughed out loud when we put them on.
As we looked like a couple of dorks wearing trash bags.
Oh my, I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing such a get-up a few years ago....

So we went.
It was thundering and lightening.
The wind kept blowing the hood of that poncho over my face.
And I couldn't see a thing.
And why is it that there is always a deep puddle at curb cuts for wheelchairs? Even where the rest of the street is dry?
But we got there. A bit drenched.

Though I do think these rain ponchos will make a good
Halloween costume.
All we need now are a couple of blood stained hatchets to carry with us....

As Bob used to always tell me: "Life is an adventure!"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Frying Eggs and Chasing Lizards

So the other day, I was at the grocery store where I passed numerous Easter displays and saw that nearly every cart which passed me by contained a carton of eggs. And I thought: eggs... hmmmmm... because when was the last time I had eggs? You know, fried, scrambled, or a nice puffy omelet? And I tell you, I used to make a mean omelet.

I haven't cooked in as many months and years as it's been since Bob's stroke. I can't remember the last time I picked up my omelet pan. Because when your husband has a feeding tube, why bother cooking? Though I do remember the last time I turned on the stove top. That was when Bob's OT needed some water boiled so she could mold his hand splint. That was when every single burner I turned on lit up like a torch. I nearly set the house afire. I kid you not.

But I decided right then and there, in the grocery store, I would buy myself some eggs and make an omelet.

I nearly dropped that carton of eggs when I got out to The Green Machine. As when I went to open the car door, there on the handle was -- a lizard.

Now, I'm not afraid of lizards. And this particular lizard was one of those small, cute-ish ones, you know like the one who sells insurance on TV. But still, he startled the heck out of me. I tried to shoo him away, but instead of jumping to the ground, he scampered down the side of the car and then jumped up on the hood.

So I put my grocery bag in the car and then commenced to try to shoo him off the hood. Because I really didn't want to drive off with the poor guy perched on the hood of The Green Machine. As it would mean certain death for him. And a smashed lizard on the windshield for me.

Now The Green Machine is a 1970's car and I am a 5'4" woman, so therefore I cannot reach all the way across the hood. And every time I tried to shoo that lizard, he sprinted to the other side of the hood. At which point, I would run to the other side of the hood and try to shoo him again.

So there we were, lizard scampering back and forth across the hood. Me--chasing circles around the car. In the grocery store parking lot. I can't imagine what people thought. I finally gave up.

I figured maybe if I started the car, the sound of the engine would scare him off the hood.

Which I did. The result of which was that the lizard sort of freaked out, stood up on his tiptoes and lifted his tail as high as he could off the hood. And remained frozen there. In sort of a lizard ballet pose.

That's when I noticed a second lizard. On the windshield wiper. Jeepers. So now I have two lizards facing certain death on my car.

So I got out of the car and grabbed the rag I use to check the oil and after slapping the rag around a bit, was finally able to shoo them both off the hood, onto the ground---where they both ran under The Green Machine. And I thought, oh no. Now I'm going to run them over when I back up.

But I wasn't about to get on my hands and knees trying to shoo them out from under the car. So I said a quick Prayer for Lizard Safety, held my breath and drove off. I do hope they survived.

When I got home, I swear, coming up the wheelchair ramp, I encountered not one, not two, but perhaps a dozen or more lizards all glaring rather accusingly at me.

But back to the eggs...

My thought had been to make an omelet. But I realized, after I was home, that I didn't have a single ingredient for an omelet, except eggs. And I found my olive oil had solidified on the cupboard shelf. And there wasn't a stick of butter in the fridge. Even the salt was all clumpy. The pepper not much better. And when I searched for the omelet pan in the bin where we store our pots, I tell you, it was rather like unearthing something from an archeological dig. The pan was covered with cobwebs.

But I did not give up. I cleaned up the pan and decided to fry an egg using that cholesterol-free-can't-believe-it's-not-butter stuff. But first, I made sure the burners were free of dust. No need to set the house afire this time.

Even so, the kitchen was soon filled with smoke. That egg was quite blackened and a bit crunchy.... Pretty much burnt to a crisp. But I ate it anyway....

So my next bright idea was to boil the rest of the eggs. I'm not even going to tell you how that one turned out. And that was after I had to ask my mother for directions.

This from a woman with 30 cookbooks on her shelf.

I tell you, sometimes I swear, Bob wasn't the only one brain damaged from this stroke...

Meanwhile, Bob is slowly recovering from pneumonia. So, we've been taking things easy here at The Pink House.