Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Me and the mouse went to the cardiologist Wednesday morning.
. . . “W-h-a-t???” you are thinking to yourself right about now.

Yep – that’s correct – the mouse. He, she, it (hopefully NOT they!!) has been living in my car for a week or so. In all the years we have stored wood in the garage in the winter and I have parked my car there, this has never happened. First time for everything, they say!

First thing I noticed was black dots on my passenger seat (no, not what you are thinking!!!) Until I picked up my leather glasses case I had no idea; then it became evident that something had chewed little pieces off it and left them all over the seat. Then I noticed a tissue shredded on the floor and my juice box chewed to pieces; he (she, it, they?) had chewed through the juice box under my seat and then carried it to the front of the passenger’s floor!! There was also one almond partially showing under the floor mat. As soon as I discovered my little companion(s??) it got so cold I didn’t want to be out in the garage tearing apart my car. Then it snowed, so I couldn’t get the car to the shop building where it would be a little warmer. Then I didn’t see any more evidence and thought they had departed. Boy, was I wrong!

On the way to the doctor visit, I noticed that they had gotten into the tissue box in the back, walked on my dashboard (little tracks in the dust!!!) and left little presents on the blanket on the back seat – guess they know it’s Christmas! Fortunately the back seat is covered with blankets for when the dog rides back there, so nothing is directly on my seat. And then, I realized they had gotten into the almond container – chewed through the plastic lid like a can opener and popped out the nuts. Now I’m afraid there are going to be nuts everywhere and even more critters. YUK. So, hopefully in the next day or two, weather permitting, I can drive my car up the hill to the shop and talk my husband into putting on my snow tires while I tear apart the car. Yippee, can hardly wait.

When I got home, I discovered that we have a cat living in the open garage behind the house. Maybe he (she?) can be enticed into the garage for a little buffet???

But, I digress. Enough about my companions – on to the doctor’s appointment.
The following is obviously written a bit “tongue in cheek” so I have to tell you that I really like my doctor –and the nurses and receptionist are really very nice ladies.

It was a sunny, balmy 10 degrees as I left the house! This time I didn’t drive past the hospital; I actually followed the large blue hospital signs to the correct driveway!
Then I parked in a different lot, much closer to the office, and promptly walked right past the office when I got inside (I thought it was farther down the hall!)
Then I got to watch a few minutes of the Ellen Degeneres show before being weighed in (not such an ordeal since I’ve shed a few more pounds!)
Then the nurse could only get my BP in the right arm so another nurse was called in for the left arm.
Then it was time to check my pulse – apparently faint and slow but, since I was still sitting in the chair and breathing that seemed to be OK. After they both concurred that I was alive, I was asked about my medications:
Had they changed?
“Nope.” (Why would they? This is the doctor who prescribed them!)
What was I taking in the morning or evening
“The blue one in the morning and the yellow one at night.” (This evinced a blank stare from the nurse who then referred to them by some fancy schmancy medical name! – “would that be the blah blah blah?”)
I replied again with my own fancy terminology “Blue in the morning, yellow at night.” (Guess I’ll have to learn some medical jargon to stay on top of this!)
Then I went through my aches and pains – apparently surprisingly few! But since I’d had some unusual (for me!) chest pains she hooked me up for the EKG which confirmed that, yep, sure enough, my heart was beating – but apparently somewhat slowly. This also evinced some medical term that started with “bra . . .” which apparently means slow heart rate. But, not to worry.
Then the doctor came in and we chatted, and I had to confess that I had missed taking the meds a couple of times; this did not overly concern him. (Hmm, after all, it ain’t HIS heart!!!) He looked at my most recent blood work and said that my cholesterol is good, my BP is good and I can cut the meds in half – literally. (Had to stop and get a pill cutter on the way home – those pills are way too tiny to cut in half with my husband’s molding cutter! As an added bonus it came with a pill holder for a weeks’ worth of pills. I spent 10 minutes cutting and filling and I’m all ready to finish out the week – and no more excuse for missing pills!).
The doc also said that if the temperature is less than 20 I’m not allowed out! Seriously! “No going to the grocery or walking outside in that temperature”. He used a cute little road analogy to explain why: “Think of your blocked artery as a closed road – the blood has to travel some back roads to detour around it and those roads can get icy.” (I.e., due to my closed off artery my blood is flowing in a different path now and breathing the cold air into my lungs can affect my heart).
I clapped my hands and told him that this heart attack has come in very handy as an excuse to get out of stuff I don’t want to do – instead of saying “no” I say “Well, you know, I recently had a heart attack” . . . . (pause) and people let me off the hook immediately!
Then, after laughing heartily - he told me that I had a “good attitude” (I think he likes me!)
Then I had to make a March appointment for something called a “stress test” which, according to my husband, apparently involves walking on a treadmill while hooked up to an EKG with the doctor and defibrillator paddles standing by. It does sound stressful, and also suspiciously like a phys ed class. Since my husband knows how athletic I am he has already kindly told me that I’ll fail the test miserably. But it does sound like an excuse to buy some new shoes – I’ve been eyeing those Skechers Tone Ups!


RHCarpenter said...

Oh, Deb!!! 1. You need to clean out your car. 2. You need to buy a better bra. 3. Seriously, you need to take care of yourself and learn those medical terms so you know what's going on with your body. Stay warm, stay well, and enjoy those Tone Ups (don't worry about the stress test, it's a piece of cake - just think about the cake you can have after it and it is just walking on the treadmill at raising angles - no problem). A new pair of shoes, a new bra, a nice warm track suit and you'll be ready to go :) Um, that word you were looking for is brachycardia, not bra, but what the heck!

debwardart said...

Thanks Rhonda - I looked up brachycardia and discerned that either (1) I've been working out a lot (and don't remember!!!) and am a physically fit athlete or (2) this could be a symptom of so many medical problems I'm the walking dead! (I'm going with option 1!!!) Also staying inside and warm catching up on computer stuff and managing to NOT paint (again!)

Christiane Kingsley said...

Deb, in spite of the very serious nature of your post, I had a good laugh because of your fascinating story-telling talent and your most positive attitude.
A friend of mine had a mouse in her car engine, not inside the car: it had made a very comfortable nest and apparently wintered there part of last year living off grease from the wires etc...Unfortunately, for the mouse, it chewed one wire too many!

Take good care of yourself and stay warm!

Barbra Joan said...

Deb, if its any comfort I had little friends living in my car last year, in the trunk ,but yes they managed to get into the car.. I got rid of them, (unless it died and is now a fossil ) I was very technical about it.. Just left the cars doors open over night. I lived on 3 wooded acres, so doing that was not a problem.
Your stress test is something I've done too.. Ive thought I was getting " the big one" so many times that I've had stress test both treadmill and chemical and also catherization.. It's not my heart.. wow ! releif so what is it?
it was (is) a panic disorder.. I have it under control now... so If the real thing ever happens I'll never know the difference... Good luck .stay warm and keep painting ... your work is as I always say amazing!!!
and a good sense of humor is what keeps us going more than anything else. regards BJ

debwardart said...

Christiane - glad I could make you laugh! Laughed at your mouse story; didn't get the car out today due to snow but maybe tomorrow - gotta get that thing out of there!
Barbara Joan - thought about leaving the doors open, but that might invite more in! Sorry about your panic attacks. So far I've heard a couple variations of the stress test - "piece of cake" and "brutal". I'm hoping for cake! Thanks for your comments!

Studio at the Farm said...

My God, Deb, it's good that you can laugh about it, but DO take care of yourself!

debwardart said...

Kathryn, thanks for caring, and don't worry - I'm very important to me and am taking care (watching that thermometer like a hawk to see if it's safe to go outside!)

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

At least they won't call your parents if you fail the stress test Deb, don't worry too much about it, just leave the red stilletos at home and go in a comfy tracksuit, the defibrillator is probably there only for motivation ^_^ You'll do great but please take care of yourself!
Now start your training by hunting that cat and throwing him/her into the garage for that buffet (ewwwww)

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Oh Debs - mice and heart checks all at once. Wonderful funny post despite the subject matter. Glad you're doing well and hope you get rid of those mice before they multiply too much.
BTW - loved the baskets.

Gaylynn said...

Thanks for the laugh Deb over the mouse/mice. They do fascinate, yet creep us out all at the same time. LOL As for your doctor visit..I too would wish for cake! Stay warm and take care of yourself.

debwardart said...

Teresa - funny! I usually passed all my tests (except for math and phys ed - and this definitely qualifies as phys ed!!!) I've got 3 months to try to get in shape, tho! When last seen, the cat was across the lake ready to spring onto something - maybe he'll come back.
Joan, thanks for your comment!
Gaylynn - I aim to please! Am staying toasty - and painting, too! And keeping an eagle eye on the thermometer on the porch!!!

Ann Buckner said...

Deb, you are a treat. Don't envy you the stress test and hope you pass with flying colors. Would that be an A+ grade??

Wishing you and yours a wonderfully merry Christmas and a fab New Year.

debwardart said...

Ann - got plenty of time to stress out over the stress test! Glad you find me a treat!!!

Kathleen Luiz said...

Great story! LMAO! Stay well and catch those mice!

debwardart said...

Kathleen, glad you liked the "story" - that's my life!!! Love your landscapes - and even though you work in oil I won't hold it against you! Stop back!!!