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Friday, August 26, 2005

Optical Dillusions

Back in February my optomitrist explained to me that I would probably never be able to see a stereogram's image because my eyes don't know how to relax the way that they should. I've always thought that anyone who could see a stereogram was just making stuff up, there's nothing there, and it is all a practical joke.

Yesterday while waiting for the doctor I finally saw it; a whale, several fish, and two dolphins magically appeared in a stereogram called Calypso. Dan says that there were a couple of palm trees too but I couldn't see them because that part of the poster was up too high for me to focus properly.

What helped me to finally see it was the reflection of a computer monitor behind me. I stared at the monitor, something I do daily so it was easy, and then all of a sudden I saw fish.

It feels like I've been missing out on the fun for years. Hopefully I'll be able to take some time soon to go look at a bunch of these somewhere so I can see what I've been missing. (Looking at them online isn't easy.)

With some practice, I'll be one of those annoying people who walk right up to a stereogram and comment about what it is and how cool it looks.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Permalink

Thursday, August 25, 2005

UltraSound of Thyroid and FNA

I didn't know I was going to have this done today; it was just a consultation since it had been awhile since my goiter was looked at. I wish we'd brought my video camera!

I've been putting off getting an FNA (fine needle aspiration, a.k.a. fine needle biopsy) of the goiter in my neck since it was discovered back in 1997. Before you go scolding me for putting it off so long, it wasn't something that seemed necessary given the rest of my case. The goiter fits better with the benign profile than it does the malignant profile so I'm not worried about it.

The doctor took an ultrasound of my thyroid and gave me a copy of one of the pictures he took. When I go back in two weeks I'll see if I can get copies of the others, including a couple taken while the needle was in my neck, and if so I'll post them all in my photo gallery. (I'm too lazy to scan and upload just the one picture tonight, sorry.)

You may be thinking the FNA sounds painful. I had an expectation that the FNA would be extremely painful considering no anesthesia is given, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was just a bit worse than getting blood drawn, just like the doctor said.

The needle is inserted, then the doctor plunges the device quickly up and down to gather the sample. He did four samples from different points of the goiter each lasting about 15 seconds. The fourth was the worst because I had some referred pain that I felt under my jaw line and into my ear. (It felt sort of like when I've gotten an injection at the dentist's office.)

This was about six hours ago. It feels a bit bruised and hurts when I turn my head to the right. I felt a bit nauseated after dinner, but that could have been the Mexican food I'd eaten and unrelated. Otherwise it wasn't all that bad.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (0) | Add Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Acquisition Approved by Shareholders

Word on the street is that Macromedia and Adobe shareholders approved the acquisition editor for, say it with me now... 3.4 <voice character="Austin Powers">billion</voice>. Regulators still have to approve it, though I can't see why they wouldn't.

Given the sneak peek I posted about, I'd say both companies expect it to be official soon. Looks like it will be in the Fall, on schedule.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (0) | Add Comment | Permalink

Getting ready for Kindergarten - Levels 1 and 2

It's almost time for Gaetano to start Kindergarten and we've been getting ready for it. He's really excited about it too, which is great. (This is going to be a really long post, but hang in there if you can because there's some cute momoments. I'm a sucker for cute moments though...)

We already went school shopping for all the basic Kindergarten supplies so he'll be ready. When I was a kid, we didn't have fancy purple glue sticks that dry clear, washable markers, washable crayons, or erasable color pencils. So not fair... I'm looking forward to the fun projects I'll be helping him with at home.

One thing he wasn't excited about was getting his immunizations last Thursday and I can't say I blame him! Explaining to him that he has to do it to be in Kindergarten and that all the kids have to do it helped a little bit. Of course that didn't stop the wailing tears when he got the injections.

He received one shot in his left arm and two in his left thigh. Gaetano insisted he only got two shots total instead of three until the next morning when he took off his band-aid and saw there were two red spots. That's when he proclaimed, "I did get three!" He was too busy screaming over the second injection to even notice the third one!

Later that day, he pointed out his injections on his thigh to his daycare teacher and then turned to me to ask where his other one was because he'd forgotten. I guess it couldn't have hurt that bad or he would have remembered that it was his left arm.

Given my medical history and a couple potential symptoms, the doctor ordered some blood tests for Gaetano too. He's probably fine, but given my bad health history I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm thankful to have a doctor who doesn't shrug things off and is willing to check just in case.

So I waited until Monday to do that since I was due to get my blood drawn too then and we both had to be fasting for the test. Early Monday morning we headed to the lab which is on the first floor just below the doctor's office.

They drew six vials from me first while Gaetano watched. I was calm and chatty, no big deal. He was pretty nervous but he did much better than last Thursday. So well that he only started to tear up a little before he got distracted by the technician who asked him to count to twenty which stopped him from crying.

Afterwards, he claimed it didn't hurt and he was only scared a little bit. He was mostly just disappointed because when he asked if we could take the blood home with us the answer was no.

Last on the pre-K to-do list was the TB test; back to the second floor for another needle, what fun. As we got out of the car Gaetano asked if we were going to go on the elevator to level two. I told him yes and he complained that he didn't want to go because level two hurt but level one didn't. I told him this time level two wouldn't hurt and not to worry about it as we approached the doctor's office.

Dan and I really expected that he'd do well given how well he did with getting his blood drawn. We couldn't have been more mistaken! Gaetano started crying and wailing as soon as he saw the same nurse from the last immunizations and the needle in her hands. He was telling us that he wanted to do the TB test on level one because level one doesn't hurt but level two does.

I thought maybe a different nurse might be able to make him feel better and the nurse agreed. She felt so bad seeing him cry and I felt bad that she felt bad. Talk about a vicious cycle!

So another nurse came in and she was really good with him. She had him write TB and his name, clean the vial containing the TB and his arm with an alcohol swab.

As soon as she opened the needle package his eyes were leaking profusely and he kept repeating all the same things he did before about levels one and two. So much for my theory; the new nurse made no difference!

I hated to do it, but I held his arms while Dan held his feet and the nurse gave him the injection. It was the tiniest little prick, just barely under the skin on his forearm. There's no way that it would hurt badly, and no matter how much anyone told him so he didn't want to believe it.

When the nurse was done, he saw stopped crying for just a second until he saw the bubble on his arm. (It looked like a blister.) The site of the bubble must have scared him because he started to cry harder again, but stopped after less than a minute. What a trauma!

Afterwards, it was the same story as after getting his blood drawn. In the car on the way to dinner, Gaetano told us that it didn't hurt, that he was only scared. So I told him next time he needs to trust us and not be scared. I'm hopeful that he'll be much better next time, just like he was the second time he got his blood drawn. (The first time was quite scary and is a rather funny story that I'll save for another day.)

Last thing to get done is the paperwork that needs to be filled out. I noticed earlier that there's a blood lead test that's required for all children over the age of 4 years 3 months. Uh oh...He already had blood drawn Monday and that wasn't part of the testing.

The nurse called the lab to see if they could use the blood from Monday at my suggestion. Even though Gaetano did well with that, I didn't want to put him through it again if I didn't have to. Unfortunately the nurse couldn't get an answer for us right away so I had to wait for a call back.

After we got home from dinner there was a very happy sounding message from the nurse stating that the lab had enough blood left to do the lead test. Hooray! Gaetano doesn't have to get poked again.

Friday the TB results are read and we'll get all the blood test results from Monday and hopefully the lead test too. What an ordeal for all of us!

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Permalink

Monday, August 22, 2005

More MAX Sneak Peeks

This just in... Macromedia has put up more MAX session sneak peeks. Yes, there's even one from yours truly. Ok, so I'm not "yours" but you know what I mean.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (0) | Add Comment | Permalink

Blog Comments

It seems that more and more I'm getting what seem might be legitimate comments posted in response to my blogging. When I look at the URL provided it turns out to be something... something... something I would rather not link to. Yeah, that's a nice way of putting it.

It amazes me that people take the time to reply to blogs for the purpose of search engine recognition alone. Sorry whatever-the-official-slang-term-is-for-those-of-you-who-do-that is, but...

Wait, no, I'm not sorry. It's my blog and I'm not going to let comments link to places where I'd rather they not link to. Find another way to boost your search engine listing because I'm not going to help you. I may or may not post your comments, but definitely not your links.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (0) | Add Comment | Permalink

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Free Macromedia Seminars

Some things in life are free, like Macromedia's online (live) seminars, recorded seminars, and regular old-fashioned-style seminars. So if you're looking for information on Studio 8, get it straight from Macromedia, free!

Macromedia will be visiting the following communities to present a free three-hour technical seminar all about Studio 8 between 08/23/2005 and 09/22/2005: Boston, Burnaby (Vancouver), Calgary, Chicago, Los Angeles, McLean, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington DC.

Hurry, space is limitted and (online) registration is required to attend.

Posted by ~Angela | Comments (0) | Add Comment | Permalink