Autumn Leaves, Wood Stoves and Very Big Birds

vulturesIt was a stellar day in upstate New York today. Some would call it stupendous – me included. This is my favorite time of year to horseback ride. I love everything about it – the smell of dead and dying leaves, with their reds, yellows and oranges smashed like melted crayons on a canvas of  Crayola “Pacific Blue.” I love the brisk mornings and warm afternoons. I love the smell of wood stoves, cranked up for the first time since last winter. It’s just all good.

Buzz and I set out for our usual Saturday morning ride today, matched in our mellow moods. We headed to the field and met my friend Barb on the way. We love the field – a wide open expanse of wild grass now yellow and long enough to shift like ocean waves. We mostly plodded until we came to ‘the hill,’ the place where we all like to practice our ‘faster gaits.’ Today we didn’t rip. We just set into a comfy jog, Buzzy and me in the lead and Barb and Pepper ambling along behind.

When these things happen, I never know what in fact happened, but what I do know is that some enormous, hideous-looking feathered creature dive-bombed Buzzy and me and as it did so, Buzzy became airborne in a sideways  leap. He stopped, frozen and I, incredulous, watched the  thing that came at us flap its incredible wings and sore high.

In my first moment of rational thought, I was grateful Buzzy was leading because although Barb’s horse  is a lovely mare, she’s hot, and when she’s faced with a ‘questionable’ situation, she’s outta there! As in bolt, full speed ahead. And lord knows what Buzzy would’ve done had she been in the lead.

“Look, they’re everywhere,” Barb yelled. Indeed they were – 30 or 40 of them, in trees, in the air, and several spread out in the field.

The horses were dancing up a storm now, anxious to head home. Barb and I were also anxious to head home.

“Must be something dead around here,” I ventured, voice quaking.

“Yep,” she answered, voice quaking.

Turns out we’d just been acquainted with a ‘committee’ of turkey vultures: prehistoric-like avian creatures with 6 foot wing spans – longer than most horses. After we turned back and headed home we had no further excitement. I’m just glad Buzzy is Buzzy and that I was in the lead.

What The Docs Don’t Tell You About Endometrial Biopsy

Last week I thought I was going to die. Well not quite, but I experienced the most barbaric procedure of my life, a procedure I thought would be a piece of proverbial cake. Only it wasn’t – not by a long shot.

Now approaching “the Golden Years,” my body introduces me to new and exciting (not) phenomena of which I shall not go into great detail. However, whenever I mention one of these new occurrences to one of a medical persuasion, I am relegated to undergo a series of tests, most of which are relatively benign, only some aren’t. Correction – one wasn’t.

Last week I had a transvaginal ultrasound – no biggie, and an endometrial biopsy. Before the biopsy, I was told I might be ‘uncomfortable’ and was advised to take a few pain killers two hours before. As I have a  high tolerance for pain, I decided to forgo the pain killers and go cold turkey. Bad decision.  I truly have never experienced such pain in my life– including childbirth and other assorted surgeries. I also reacted unlike I had for any of these events – loudly and physically. I was mortified.

After it was over, without a really ‘good’ tissue sample, so I was told, I crawled sheepishly down the corridor, wondering how many people had heard me and hoping no one had. I felt like a world class wimp despite being told many people reacted a lot worse than I, including some who passed out. I get that and I wish I had so.

I drove my sheepish self home and promptly got on the Internet to research others who had had this procedure and guess what I found?  I was not alone – not by a long shot! So, I share these stories with you as both a warning and as encouragement to talk with your medical practitioners to request a nice tidy squirt of anesthesia in a hospital setting, an option I was told about AFTER my agonizing and quite humiliating experience.

Read on: For the Women Folk: Endometrial Biopsy

Endometrial Pain

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