August 2008

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TeaBot 5000™ and Caity are both in need of a recharge!

Flatter than these!

Yesterday was Caity’s visit to Dr Girlybits, where Staples Were Removed…

[CaityQuote] “Gee, staples in my middle: this is the only time I’ll get to feel like a centrefold!”

How The Staples Got There

And things were done to make the poor lass feel a bit better…

[TeaBot 5000™ transcript] No, darling, you’re not really falling apart. It’s a nice, neat, clean piece of work. You should get the fellow quilting…

No, I’ve always looked this pale. I am NOT looking like I’ve seen a ghost.

Caity is still in deep recovery mode, as can be seen from the fact SHE IS NOT READING. [Now you are looking a tad pale, Gentle Reader.]

She’s asked me to thank the people who sent the flowers and reading matter (with especial gratitude for the potato thingy).

TeaBot 5000™ will now close down temporarily. Can you say “Nanna Nap”, little friends and playmates?

Yes, content has gone downhill in Caity’s absence…
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TeaBot 5000™ informs Caity’s little friends and playmates that Caity is resting, and is in reasonable shape.

Although still a few energy units shy of the limit at which visitors and so forth are possible, she is recharging well.

There may be a surprise post later, but to say more would ruin the surprise….

(There is no truth to the rumour that TeaBot 5000™ was built from leftover Enigma Machine parts.)

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Everybody is remarking how great Caity’s skin looks now!


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TeaBot 5000™ didn’t watch the qualifying for the Barcelona F1 race, opting instead to crash (in a dignified crumple) on the bed. Massa on pole – HRUMPH!  – wouldn’t have waited up ’til 2am for that anyway.

DISCLAIMER: TeaBot 5000™, Caity and all the critters are unabashed Lewis Hamilton admirers. GO LEWIS!

Dust in the TeaBot’s air intake filters led to an interesting night, and some maintenance must have been done, as the throatpipe was thoroughly rough-sanded this morning.

The sound of the Mobile Moan roused TeaBot 5000™ from a deep screensaver… Caity may even escape today!

Ironically, timing depends (not an intentional pun on invalids’ undergarments, this unit reassures Caity’s readers) on how many babies decide to go through the whole routine from SQUEEZE to SQUAWK today.

Doctor Girlybits1 deals with births too, and the number of births will determine when he gets to see Caity.

1 It is an old TeaBot Series™ tradition that doctors are named for their function. Doctor Lung, Doctor Hurt, and so on. An earlier model unit, the 4500, referred to the dermatologist as Doctor For Skin. The Pun Feature was installed in even the Prototype TeaBot…

Things will probably go a bit turbo from here on: short sharp posts as news comes in, and eventually the controls will be handed back to Caity.

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She’s out!

Please, no calls or callers for a few days: Girl and TeaBot both slightly worn out.

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Today’s TeaBot 5000™ begins with the news that Caity’s drain was removed today.

The British West Hartlepool Crochet And Earthmoving Society (Junior Branch) were kind enough to pose for the re-enactment photo.

We have always been at war with West Lounge Room

Nature abhors a vacuum. TeaBot 5000™ sides with Nature on this one.

Still. taking one’s operating system into one’s own shiny metal manipulators, this unit began, continued, and eventually finished. It was…

…an excuse for a bad pun!

At this rate, Caity’s unwellness (and the 5000™’s own inability to sense the slow buildup of grot) might be made up for, in time for the girl’s release from hospital.

TeaBot 5000™ doesn’t know when, yet.
Will post here soon as info is available

The shocking news is that, with the advent of new HotFlash© technology, Caity currently doesn’t LIKE TEA!!

This unit will require reprogramming before Thermal Overload (see below)

sets in…

Cordially yours,
TeaBot 5000™

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Today’s TeaBot 5000™ update sings “hey nonny no, the wind and the pain.”

It’s not so much Caity’s blurtage that’s a worry, but the stubbornness of a huge nether gust that just hangs round and contributes to painful inflation without any measurable outcome.

—- participation space —

That should certainly remind our keener students of politics and the economy of something they’d like to share with the rest of us..

TeaBot 5000™ Digression

OVER-RIDDEN. Resume now —

Caity thanks the little friends and playmates who have called and sent lovely things.

Once certain learned persons at the hospital have finally given their approval, Caity will be allowed to use some of her usual prescribed pain medication, rather than having it withheld and being told she has been temporarily prescribed some stuff she is specifically unable to take. (If TeaBot 5000™ models were programmed with a reasonable joke chip, there would be a fairly good joke about hierarchies and communication here: as it stands, Caity’s readers will have to be content with a cynical remark about more levels meaning more opprtunities to go wrong.)

It is sufficient to say there was no sleepytime for Caity last night.

Her drain thingy was also causing intense discomfort. This may possibly have some bearing on the request for huge undies.

—-and now, a sponsor’s message —

This staged re-enactment of Caity’s Tube Of Agony is brought to you by Sapporo Lunchtime Grand Guignol Theatre Company.

—-now, back to our blog post —

This unit will try a quick nap before afternoon visiting. Overnight recharges don’t work as well without the reassuring cold feet in the back.

Those wishing to visit, please remember to call the hospital:

[Number removed]


before setting out, just in case she’s finally been sleep-enabled.

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Caity was brighter today, and managed a few staggers, plus a personal triumph (first widdle since the catheter came out, and her relief was obvious).

Teabot 5000™ was requested to please tell Caity’s little friends and playmates that she’s a trifle weak (although she be let loose after the weak-end) and it’s better to phone the hospital.
(this number was removed later)
and talk to her briefly, to see if she’s up to visitors.

Many thanks to all those who’ve commented so far.

—-and now, a sponsor’s message —

Brought to you by McGillicuddy’s Awesomely Strong Linen Thread (also suppliers of Ginormous Sail Needles to the surgical trade).

(Picture nicked from the very amusing Dan Piraro.)

—-now, back to our blog post —

This unit must now engage housework mode.
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[Short, sharp mode engaged]

Caity still recovering.

Sorry fewer updates than expected, but Teabot 5000™ has been stress-testing the track to the hospital by multiple use.

Today this unit must buzz all over town like a blue-@rsed flybot, because Caity’s CPAP machine did not start up when transplanted to hospital.

Teabot 5000™ will arrange repair and a loaner machine today.

If more time was available for hospital staff to actually observe patients (this would happen in a hypothetical perfect world, which Does Not Compute), somebody might have seen that Caity was not getting a lot of joy out of the Up-Your-Nose O2 delivery thingy, owing to the fact she was beathing via her mouth a lot.

A masky thing on the face has improved matters a little: a proper CPAP will be better.

—-and now, a sponsor’s message —

Rushed off your feet? Try LOTS OF COFFEE!

—-now, back to our blog post —

Further CaityStatus reports after next.

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—- Late Update 1123 HRS —

CPAP machine appears to be motor-damaged. “Did you transport this machine with water in the humidifier?”

Well, duh, no. Caity is very protective of The Lung That Walks By Night. I personally field-stripped, washed, dried and reassembled that humidifier before moving it.

People handling the machine since? I couldn’t possibly comment.

And it’s out of warranty. The moaning of one’s inner Scotsman can be heard.

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Hardcopies of your good wishes were delivered to a slow, woozy, and uncharacteristically non-talkative Caity.

While seeing such a droopy girl, attached to (TeaBot5000™’s  distant cousin), The Machine That Goes PING Very Occasionally…

“Caity getting enough Dizzy-Drops, then?”

… and dressed in a fetching beige/mushy-peas-green/white ensemble (probably so the occasional bout of BLECH doesn’t show), would be a Bad Thing, the good news is still there.

  • Firstly, NO CANCER was obvious.
  • See, she WAS sick! (TeaBot 5000™ memo to self: find and crush certain Unkind Persons who suggested her ailments were fictional. But this unit digresses…)
  • Things should get a lot better, because the reason for The Crookness is now apparent…

—-and now, a sponsor’s message —

—-now, back to our blog post —

(Caity said the reason should be revealed.)

If this unit’s unclear recollection of a dizzy Caity’s retelling of what she remembers from what the surgeon said, there were attachments interfering with the digestive and urinary systems, as well as giving her lots of Grief In The Girly Works. (This unit believes that is the medical term, anyway: your terminology may vary.)

She’s a trifle too wobbly and tired for visitors just now.

Further CaityStatus reports after this evening’s visit.

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NurseBot (whose unit number is unknown, as all NurseBots at Caity’s hospital seems to have the same telephone voice) informs this unit that CaityStatus is

“Pretty good, but she will be very sleepy this morning.”

(picture from James Worthington’s travelblog)

As soon as Poodle Wrangler Corporation have arrived to —

—-BZZZT! —

[a small break in transmission took place, as the Poodle Unit sighted Poodle Wrangler Vehicle. A small-but-vigorous game of Catch The Puppy began in earnest. Analysis shows signs of what may be separation anxiety in the canine unit: its behaviour has been suboptimal since Caity was “taken to the vet”.

Canine unit despises vet visits. QED]

—-BZZZT! —

Poodle task interrupt handled. Now for some housework, done in that special TeaBot 5000™ way that slightly improves things but makes it patently obvious the whole house is missing Caity, and then to Visiting Time.

Comment posters are hereby notified under Clause XXXVIII of their User Agreements that all encouraging comments have been printed, and the hardcopy will be presented to Caity for assimilation.

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This unit is the TeaBot 5000™, Caity’s personal teamaker and backup blogposter.

(picture nicked from

Herself made it thru the operating theatre (in which she played a starring role), and although there was some pain afterwards, NurseBot said (via phone) that Caity was sleeping peacefully.

Computing the chances of Caity getting some rest as “next-to-astronomical”, this unit made an executive decision to leave a message, let her sleep, and get an update in the morning.

Bedlam Viewing Sessions umm… Visiting hours start at eleven. This TeaBot will convey any messages found in the comment queue.

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… I am probably gently snoring at the cute anaesthetist.  And the doctors scalpel has probably already revealed just how thick the fat layer is on my belly…and the various nurses etc will have handed him retractors to get my muscles out of the way.  Within 2 hours or so all the girly reproductive gear will be GONE GONE GONE and off in the pathology lab to be examined.


Mr Beloved will be posting updates as soon as he can.  But be assured, I will be back home and blogging for myself REALLY REALLY SOON!

Love yers all,


So it’s The Day Before Surgery, and I can no longer put off the dread moment: Clearing the undergrowth.  Defoliation.  Stripping the Willow. Baring Betty.  Unmasking Possible.  (Possible?  Yep, a friend’s mother said: you wash up as high as possible, then down as far as possible – and then you wash possible. )

It’s time for The Shave.

Now, I’m proud of my thatch.  Grown women have pubic hair, ok?  None of this  little girl p0rn0graphic bareness, oh no – mine is a lush, sproingy and multicoloured forest.  (Although I will confess to feeling very ooooold the first time I found an albino kangaroo in the lower forty.   Grey? You’ve got to be kidding me!  GREY?!? I have GREY pubes?! You get GREY pubes?  Oh maaaaaaaaan, yet another Thing Nobody Told Me About Ageing™!

I got over it.  Apparently, some women don’t – I recently read a review of Betty Beauty “Color for Down There”.  Now, I can see wanting to have a bit of fun, and perhaps having Hot Pink Pubes would be a giggle – but I’m just not that worried about whether the collar and cufffs match, you know?  I mean, exactly HOW MANY people do you expect to show that the drapes don’t match the carpet?

ANYWAY: given the luxuriant nature of the growth, we started off by finding and charging the electric clippers.  But the buzzing blades made me tense, and bending gave Mr Beloved a backache.

“This isn’t doing anything, the hair’s too fine.” He says. (I confess to be being momentarily thrilled that my thatch is delicate – because plainly, the rest of me is NOT.  I am now and forever will be a Sturdy Girl, no matter how much weight I lose.  So hey, I’ll take my victories where I can get ’em.)


I was planning on waxing – but that was before I realised the logistics of having to hold belly out of the way with one hand (gently, cos it freakin’ HURTS, duh, that’s why I’m having surgery in the first place) and smoothing the wax strip “In the direction of hair growth”.  I don’t know about you, but my bush doesn’t grow in nice straight lines – there IS no direction of hair growth. And anyway I couldn’t see if there was, since we’re working blind here. I haven’t been able to see my TOES for some months, let alone anything else south of my belly-button.

And waxing HURTS.  A lot.

So I resorted to shaving.  Which keeps the Olympic level contortionist act, but adds a further degree of difficulty by adding running water and shaving foam.

Twenty minutes later, two fresh razor cartridges, innumerable squirts of shaving foam later… I’ve shaved up, down, around, sidewards, frontwards, backwards, and I can still feel stubble.  Back again with another new razor blade, one last sweep…

The water heater has run out of hot water, I’m declaring the job DONE.  If it’s not good enough it’s just not.  And in any case, I strongly suspect that whatever I did wouldn’t be good enough and some over-zealous nurse will want to shave poor possible AGAIN before surgery.

And it’s itching ALREADY.

( Mr Beloved did offer to print up a flash card that reads “Why, Yes, I DO have crabs” to excuse the scratching.

I declined.)

EDITED TO ADD: OMG, this is just sick.  Link from Skepchick to a New York Post story on Moms taking their little girls to be waxed – when they don’t even have anything to WAX?!  Ye gods and little fishes, where will it end??

Yep, still here.  Still in pain.  Which, as I have said before, is better than the alternative.  But still – *sigh*.  Because I’m tired. Tired because my iron levels are probably through the floor again (despite my taking HORSE PILLS – ugh! of iron daily) and tired because I’m not sleeping well because of the pain.

Bring on Tuesday.

And while I’m talking about “the alternative” – ie, DYING – just want to let my feelings be known here.  I have completed an Advance Health Directive, even had my doctor look over it and sign the appropriate parts (just got to get a JP/ Commissioner for Declarations to witness it now.)  That’s a looooong form with lots of tick boxes that say things like “In the event of last stage terminal illness, I do/do not want the following things to happen; and then there are tick boxes for things like “assisted ventilation” and “Antibiotics” and such.

(Seriously, if you’ve never thought about this, go check it out and let your loved ones know, ok?  Cos do YOU want to have to make the decision about whether or not to put your sweetie on a ventilator?  Isn’t it better to KNOW what they would want?)

Basically: if I’m not coming back (in a persistant vegetative state, or extended coma) then keep as many parts that are salvageable in as usable condition as possible, in order to donate EVERYTHING possible to those who need the organs/tissues.

And for afterwards: Do NOT have a church service.  Do NOT bury me (unless you can find an eco-bury type arrangement where my body gets composted or planted under a tree or something… but I have yet to find out the legalities around that) so please just cremate me and do what you want with the ashes. I can’t stand cemetaries and I think the little remembrance plaques are even worse.  So just – DON’T.  Ok?

Everything I own goes to Mr Beloved.  (Almost as simple as the possibly apocryphal Will of three words: “All to Wife.” )

Seems weird to me that some people don’t ever think about this sort of thing.  (is it just because I have lived with depression for so long that I have thought about this a lot?)  Also strikes me as odd that I have a house and sheds FULL OF STUFF that I’m not all that attached to, in the end – I mean, yes, I’d miss stuff if it all went tomorrow, but really?  It just isn’t that important.

Think I’ll be doing a big de-clutter as soon after surgery as I’m cleared to be lifting stuff, huh?


Off to make dinner now.  Not hungry but have to eat, blah blah blah.

So, tomorrow I’m off to Breast Screen Queensland for a mammogram.  Yet another stop on the Super-Fun-Tilt-Your-World ride that is the process of getting OLDER.

(Yes, thanks, I know NOT getting older would be worse.  But this is MY blog – go whinge on your own!)

Anyway, the Big Boob Squish™ is happening not because of any particular worries – but because I’m probably having an oestrogen implant when I have the surgery, it’s a good idea to have a baseline mammogram.

Just In Case.

Also on the Just In Case To-Do list this week: getting an Enduring Power of Attorney, a Legal Will, and an Advanced Health Directive organised.

(Sue, if I die, you can have my fabric stash.  Not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse!!)

Oh, and the pre-admission check-list phone call from the hospital today raised another FUN!! task to-do: “With your legs together, shave, wax, or you can be shaved here at the hospital.” Um yeah, thanks.  “Would you like a catheter?” was another question that didn’t require a whole lotta thought – are you kidding?  Wet myself trying to use a pan or have a nice clean tube, what do YOU think!

Yep, welcome to Caityworld, Where Too Much Information Is Barely Enough!™

And in that spirit: This week I will CELEBRATE my LAST PERIOD EVER.

Not normally a cause for celebration – ever since I first got my period I have had a miserable time with it – pain, swelling, bloating, acne, migraines, persistent anaemia, constipation, mood swings, and medicinal consumption of vast quantities of chocolate.  I’ve tried every over-the counter “period pain” pill there is; tried altering my diet (but seriously – caffeine deprived Caity is NOT a Happy Fun Sparkly Caity!), exercising to ameliorate the pain, and being on various versions of The Pill.

I have spent waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much money on various products to catch “the flow” (although the best value ones by far are The Keeper or The Diva Cup – highly recommended if you’re comfortable with your body, squicky if you’re not).  I have spent hours soaking blood-stained knickers, jeans, skirts and pyjamas in napisan when the various tampons, pads etc failed.

I have not owned white undies in many many years.

When I had only just started getting The Monthly Monster, one month I ended up in hospital with suspected appendicitis. I was in dreadful pain, but then the blood arrived – and all of a sudden I was shoved out of the hospital bed, told to get dressed, and sent home with some incredibly wimpy headache tablets.

WAIT A SECOND!! A moment ago I was being taken seriously about how much pain I was in, but now you reckon I’m fine? THE PAIN HASN’T CHANGED!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!

I remember my Mum being rather excited and thrilled when I got my first ever period.  I was embarrassed.  She was emotional over her first daughter reaching such a momentous change: I was pissed off by the MESS and the inconvenience.

So after 28+ years of dealing with all this: Yeah, I’m celebrating its loss!!  There will be bubbly; there may even be cake.  I’m thinking possibly Friday or Saturday lunch or arvo tea, if you’re among my TWB circle and free around then….


… unless you’re opening champagne (or fizzy domestic equivalent) – in which case, I’M YA GIRL!! The Olympics Opening ceremony? Not so much.

We went back to the doctors again today.  Actually back to TWO different surgeries – the old one where half the practice USED to be, and which had a working machine that was needed to do the lung function test; then an hour and a half later at the NEW surgery where my Doc now works (but where the necessary machine died yesterday arvo) for her to read the results.

Turns out that even though I have better than predicted (for my age and weight) lung function (YAY for all those years of busking with the flute in Wagga’s freezing cold winters, eh?!) I do also have asthma.  Bugger. At least it’s just cold/exercise/allergy triggered, and I can manage it with Ventolin (and the handy dandy spacer – I have never had much success with just the puffer on its own, I always ended up with medicine on my tongue.  Ick phtttht.)

After the doctors and dietician (it’s really hard to lose weight when you can’t get out of bed much!) I did manage to get to one of the Local Quiltshops today (for the first time since about APRIL) and pick up some more needles and a metre (ok, four 25 cm pieces) of different greens to add to the Tuesdays and Triangles quilt.

Sorry no other news… still mostly in bed, moaning.  Poor Teabot5000 (aka Mr Beloved) has been very kind, but I am counting the days hours til surgery.

HOWEVER if, like me,  you are of a skeptical bent, and need a great laugh, do please go check out my two new favourite podcasts:

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe (Annie, I LOVE these guys!! Thank you so much for the recommendation) – get 5  science literate, no bullshit commentators and let ’em rip – great stuff.

And through the SGU, I found out about George Hrab’s Geologic Podcast – he’s crazy but soooo cool! I mean, THIS is his day job – vibraphones!  Man, you’re just not allowed to even go NEAR vibes without a sufficiently high cool factor, you know?

He does funny sketches, talks about life as a working muso, and debunks more crap.  Don’t miss his Religious Moron of the Week section – HILARIOUS!!   (Just don’t start with Geologic# 76, it is NOT AT ALL indicative of what he’s about. Really.)

EDITED TO ADD: The lovely Ms. Information from Geologic commented:

“Since the Geologic Podcast is so varied, maybe the best place to put
the needle down for the first time is a show from February, a Best Of
compilation of sketches, Episode 52.1.

Thanks for giving the Maestro a shout out. We’re sending you heaps of virtual sugar from Geologic HQ.”

How frickin’ awesome is that?!?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I’m out.  Thanks for watching, folks!