7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 203)

January 18, 2013 | 47 comments

— 1 —

Thank you again for all your prayers, well wishes, and kind words! I’m doing better — better than we expected, actually. Thanks to some combination of prayers and a Lovenox dose possibly better suited for a small elephant, the clots seem to be dissolving, and I’m seeing improvements every few days. I still need to take it easy, but I’m getting back into the range of normal activity. I may even be able to take the kids to most of their activities next week, which is more progress than we expected to see by this point!

— 2 —

When I’ve talked about my condition leading up to the diagnosis, a few folks expressed surprise that I didn’t know something was wrong sooner. “So wait…” one friend said, “Let me get this straight: You would do nothing more than walk up the stairs, and that simple activity would leave you gasping for breath to the point that you had to throw yourself onto the bed to gasp for air for a few minutes? And you thought that that was all normal?”


The problem is that most people don’t understand the superhuman levels of laziness I have been capable of in my life. I have had periods where I did so little physical activity that lifting a fork full of food to my mouth was all I could think of when the doctor asked me what kind of exercise I was getting. I have actually been so unbelievably out of shape that I’d come back from the mailbox huffing and puffing, and couldn’t make it all the way up the stairs without pausing to catch my breath. So when my shortness of breath symptoms started in mid-December, my reaction was to note that I’d fallen off of my exercise routine, and to roll my eyes and say, “Here we go again.”

— 3 —

The first night in the hospital I found this videoto educate myself about PEs:

At the part about emboli forming in veins I had the passing thought, Did I just hear something about ‘pimps in da crib’? I shook my head and went back to focusing on the causes of infarction, and then heard, distinctly, And I roll the best weed.

As it turns out, the background music for this video is none other than the Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot, which brought me endless delight. I had never really put together the association between venous thromboembolism and the Doggfather, but I’m glad that someone else did.

— 4 —

Have I watched Season 3 of Downton Abbey? Of course I haven’t. One does not just “watch Season 3 of Downton Abbey” like it’s a mere TV show. I only watched Season 2 this past December after months of research and mental preparation. First, I had to make sure that the writer didn’t screw it up with bad plot twists (and if I had discovered that he had, I would have made a bitter and solemn promise never to watch another episode again, lest it sully my memory of Season 1). Yet I had to gather this information carefully, without hearing any spoilers, lest my life cease to have any meaning. Then I had to make sure I was ready to undertake another Downton experience, which usually involves watching back-to-back episodes until my eyes are bloodshot and throbbing, stumbling into bed at highly inappropriate hours of the night, and then getting over the one- to two-day hangover at the end of the season in which I re-learn how to live my life without Downton episodes to watch.

— 5 —

I have heard ominous rumblings about the content of Season 3 (say nothing if you know!), and every time I think about it it reminds me of the Stephen King book/movie Misery. If I recall correctly, the plot is that a famous writer is in a horrible car accident and happens to be discovered by a big fan of his books. She takes him to her secluded home to take care of him, but when she reads his latest work and finds that he’s killed off the main character, she makes him a prisoner and forces him to write a new storyline that honors the heroine.

I always thought of it as a dark examination of the mind of a psychopath, but now it strikes me as the portrait of devoted fan just doing her part to encourage an author who’d lost his way. Let me just say that if Julian Fellowes disappears after a publicity event in central Texas, and begins sending dispatches from an undisclosed location (that perhaps seem to be written under duress) that announce that he’s committing to 15 more seasons of Downton and swears that they’ll all be riveting and yet involve no major trauma to the main characters, noting that anything disturbing that happened in Season 3 will turn out to be a weird dream that Lord Grantham had…I know nothing about it.

— 6 —

Look at this amazing invention I discovered over at Design Mom:

That’s right, it’s your own personal bubble! How amazing is this thing? There’s even a functioning sink in it, so you NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE!!! Joe asked where you would ever use this. What?? Where wouldn’t you use it? Heck, I’d take one in my living room right now. The kids would be knocking on the glass, trying to tattle on their siblings or ask me for snacks or whatever, and I’d cup my hand over my ear and move my lips to pantomime, “WHAT?…WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU.” And it would be perfect for camping. Throw in an air conditioner and a refrigerator, and you might be able to turn me into an outdoorswoman yet!

I thought the RelaxMan was the perfect invention, but that was only because I didn’t know that personal bubbles existed.

— 7 —

You must, must, must watch this video if you haven’t already seen it.

I found it on A Road Less Traveled, one of the amazing new-to-me blogs I’ve discovered thanks to your recommendations.



  1. jen @ Saving Kaia

    The video in #7 is the reason I’m a Guardian Angel for Reece’s Rainbow.

  2. Laura M

    I’m glad to hear your doing better! and that you haven’t lost your sense of humor. Will continue praying for you and yor family

  3. Kelly

    Hey now, that’s Snoop LION. 😉

    So glad to hear you’re doing a bit better! I hope things continue to improve quickly! Praise God.

  4. Sally Thomas

    So glad you’re feeling better. And I would totally love that bubble thing.

  5. Caitlin

    I am so, so glad to hear you are doing better! Wonderful news!

  6. Michelle

    The bubble is the best! I would take that in a heartbeat!!! So glad you are feeling better and showing improvement. You continue to be in our family’s prayers.

  7. Kathleen Basi

    I love that video! What courage.

  8. Tricia

    Good to hear that you are feeling better sooner than expected! And that video literally gives goosebumps. Happy Friday!

  9. mary

    I loved every single one of these, and the downton ones made me laugh out loud! Thanks! 🙂 Continued prayers!

  10. Colleen Martin

    The bubble needs a toilet!! Obviously not designed by a woman who would have thought of that 🙂

  11. Jamie

    So glad you’re feeling better; we’ll keep praying!!


  12. Laura

    Glad to hear you are doing better! I am so with you on Downton Abbey. We’re three episodes into Season 3 and so far so good 🙂

  13. Kelly M.

    My kids saw the picture of the bubble and were all “That’s cool!” and I’m like, you’re totally missing the point, it’s not a playhouse for *you.*
    Glad for the improvement in your health; prayers it continues.

  14. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Oh my gosh, you are SO BACK! Takes 4 thru 6 = hysterical.

    And I love that adoption video so hard. How is it SO good? So, so good.

  15. Ingrid

    Glad you’re doing better now. Hope and pray it will keep improving. Prayers from the Netherlands 🙂

  16. Deanna

    I’ve watched Season 3 of Downton Abbey. Most interesting. That’s all.

  17. Kaitlin F.

    You’re hysterical. I just finished season 1 and can’t find season 2 anywhere online (for free, people, i’m cheap like that) and my life is just NOTHING. GAHHHHHHHH.
    keep on truckin, ladyface, we’re still praying for you and the littlest booger.

    • Calee

      Season 2 is free for Amazon Prime members…

    • Sigrun

      You can probably get it from your local public library, although you’ll most likely need to put a hold on it and then be prepared to wait a while as it is a popular item.

  18. Christine the Soccer Mom

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better! Been praying for you tons at Mass & Adoration. I get the feeling that Heaven is a bit like the opening of It’s a Wonderful Life:

    “There’s an awful lot of people praying for a woman named Jen. I think we need to help her, but do we focus on her health or the scorpion problem?”


    And I’m so far off being a with-it person that I’m only a few episodes into season *1* of Downton Abbey. The first episode caught me SO off-guard with that footman, and I was watching it specifically to escape from the crazy hedonist world, that I stopped watching 2/3 through and took it off my Netflix Queue. GAH! I only started re-watching it about 2 weeks ago, and it’s very slow-going working through it.

    Anyway, very happy you’re feeling better. Much love to you all.

  19. Alanna

    I haven’t started watching Downton yet, but I need to, I just love Maggie Smith.

    Personal bubble, yes please!

    Snoop Dogg FTW.

  20. Janet

    Glad you’re feeling better… funny, though, how far off our awareness of our own personal responsibility can be– both directions (too lax and too harsh). Good judgment is the first thing we lose, and silently. After it’s all over, we say to ourselves, well of course it was obvious! But at the time, we simply don’t register the facts as facts, or don’t make the simple connection.

    It’s even more true when we try to look at other people. One more reminder that we should not presume to judge, even ourselves, and instead leave all judgment to Our Lord.

    (PS: Steven King says that “Misery” was actually him subconsciously working up to confronting and overcoming his drug habit.)

    (PPS: Did anybody check that the generic “Lovenox” you were taking was actually real? There have been so many scandals recently about fake or tainted pharmaceuticals lately, I just have to wonder if you didn’t get something bogus.)

  21. Gina

    “I always thought of it as a dark examination of the mind of a psychopath, but now it strikes me as the portrait of devoted fan just doing her part to encourage an author who’d lost his way.”

    You know, I’ve always thought the same thing. 😀

  22. Tracie

    “I always thought of it as a dark examination of the mind of a psychopath, but now it strikes me as the portrait of devoted fan just doing her part to encourage an author who’d lost his way.” You have shown me the light. It is clear that this is what was happening in Misery. How did I never see it before? Also, you were totally with me when Julian Fellowes disappeared. I mean…you will be with me….I mean I’m planning a barbeque for that time and I’m sure you will be there, and I will be happy to tell the police that if they ask 😉

    That personal bubble thing is brilliant. I need one immediately.

  23. GeekLady

    I just wanted to say I’m glad you’re feeling better and can do more now. The idea of bedrest for such a long period of time terrifies me.

  24. Jenna@CaIllHerHappy

    Is there any other way to watch a tv show? That is the best way.

  25. Maggie @ From the Heart

    So glad to hear you are feeling better! Prayer is flippin’ amazing! And that bubble thing? Sign me up, yo!

    Have a good weekend!

  26. elizabethe

    “You would do nothing more than walk up the stairs, and that simple activity would leave you gasping for breath to the point that you had to throw yourself onto the bed to gasp for air for a few minutes? And you thought that that was all normal?”

    Heck, that was my entire first pregnancy.

    Glad you are feeling better. We are praying for you.

  27. Julia

    HAA SnoopDog. I had to watch it just to hear it for myself. Also I WANT that bubble room, mostly to keep away from all of the sickness in my house. LOVE IT. Happy Belated Birthday by the way.

  28. Connie Rossini

    That video was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    All those prayers must be working. We” keep it up. God bless.

  29. Susan

    Ditto to everyone’s best wishes. Now, on to what’s important. I so appreciate your ability to formulate a rational plan for managing the drug that is Downton Abbey. I mentioned a similar strategy to my husband and he just looked at me. Thanks for a great plan. Count me in.

  30. Jen @ Jumping in Puddles

    Oh, Jen! I am so happy that you are hanging in there and laughing along the way. 🙂 I literally laughed out loud with 2 and 3.

    Continued prayers for your continued recovery!

  31. Matt

    So glad you’re doing better. Facebook friends have been kind of quiet about your status, so I came here to check. Have prayed and will continue to do so.

  32. ashley.elise

    “The one- to two-day hangover at the end of the season in which I re-learn how to live my life without Downton episodes to watch.”

    It is for this very reason that I have delayed even starting to watch Season 3. I’m so excited for it, but it’s easier to just put it off and not watch it yet than deal with not having another episode waiting for me. That’s not disordered at all, right?

  33. Anne McD

    You crack. me. up. What I don’t understand is how you could laugh with blood clots in your lungs. Sounds painful. Glad you’re on the mend!

  34. Trisha Niermeyer Potter

    I’m glad that you are doing better, have kept you in prayer. That video on pulmonary embolism with such a hilarious choice in background music really amused me, and I was in need of a good laugh. The I Like Adoption video in number 7 had both my husband and I in tears. What an amazing couple and a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing.

  35. Leila

    I could use that Bubble….

  36. priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

    if you even read comments this late …if you have time or even feel inspired: read my short post and then write a catholic to atheist ‘convert’ I mention

  37. Jay

    Praying for you and your family!!

  38. S. Rainey

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. As for the bubble, it depends on the ventilation.

  39. Zoe

    That video about adoption brought tears (of course). Thanks for sharing it. And glad you’re doing so much better. Prayers continue…

  40. Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    Okay, I get the whole breathing thing. It sneaks up slowly. I developed PEs that progressed to left side heart failure and copious blood when I coughed. It wasn’t until the blood that I was concerned. It is every easy to ignore the symptoms. And I get the whole thing about being worried you don’t look sick. I was on oxygen for a month but in all honesty, it took longer than that to recover. Be easy on yourself and be grateful it was caught before it got worse. Early treatment reduces the long term damage.

  41. Sunday

    I think the bubble would be the perfect “Scorpion Free Zone”! Glad you’re feeling better!

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