A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

05 June 2009

Hitting It Right On the Head

First off I have to let you know - I'm NOT a clumsy person. I'm not prone to stumbling over my own feet, over table legs or cat toys. I have never been called a "klutz" and the second to last time I remember falling on my tush - I had a pair of roller blades on about 10 years ago and I got too cocky. Let's just say wearing them IN the house on a RUG and then going out through your garage holding on to stuff and then letting go in the driveway when it has a 2 degree angle...well, I'll just say - butt and pavement will intersect.

Enter Warfarin aka Coumadin aka blood thinner.

I had to go on a blood thinner for a couple reasons. I won't bore you with them, I'm sure you've been bored enough reading my blogs (yes, insert "Catholic guilt trip" here) - but when the doctor who prescribes you them in the hospital says "this is an EVIL drug"...well, that's the beginning of a series of not so good signs.

The second bad sign? The "Welcome to Hell" booklet. Oh, sure...it wasn't called that, but it could have been. Let me quote some statements directly from it:

"...call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you have any of the following:" (It then sites a whole list which is logical and pretty much a no-brainer across the board for anyone, regardless of medication - and then this...)

A serious fall or a hit on the head.

Blah blah blah...avoid some activities and sports that could cause injury...blah blah...if you like to work in the yard, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and gloves. Activities that would be safe for you include swimming and walking. It is very important to know that you can be bleeding and not see any blood. For example, you could fall and hit your head, and bleeding could occur under your skull. Or, you could fall and hurt your arm and notice a large purple bruise. This would be bleeding under the skin. Call your doctor or go to the hospital immediately if you have taken a bad fall, even if you are not bleeding. (Yes, it was in bold

Then it goes further talking about other things I should do and not do, including:


Use an electric razor.

Use a soft toothbrush.

Use waxed dental floss.

Do not use toothpicks.

Wear shoes or non-skid slippers in the house.


Always wear shoes.

Be very careful with sharp tools; wear gloves when using them.

Avoid activities and sports that can easily hurt you.

Wear gardening gloves when doing yard work.

Stay active.

Followed then by a whole list of precautions about what to eat and what not to eat (a much longer list) and how every single medicine will now interact with Coumadin/Warfarin in some manner, shape or form.

So, after reading this, I asked the doctor..."Oh, c'mon - I can't eat a salad with arugula anymore?" "Nope." "A cranberry??" "Nope." "Alcohol????" "Nope."

"Oh, just kill me now."

So, let me get this straight...I can't do anything anymore - and whatever I do, don't get into a car accident. BUT...I can walk and swim. Walk and SWIM??? Now think how many other activities there are in this world - and then there's walking and swimming. "Gee...thanks!", Warfarin people.

And this wouldn't have been so bad if not for the fact I have a head.

Oh, go ahead and laugh - or think I'm insane. You try living your life being aware of your head every single waking minute.

I was told "if you hit your head...go to the ER right away".

"Wait...maybe that statement is meant to be read, 'serious fall and SERIOUS hit on the head'? Or is it just 'SERIOUS fall and hit on the head?' 'ANY hit on the head?' I mean ANY??" Which IS it, Warfarin booklet people!?

How many times have I hit my head in my life that I can remember?

Maybe four.

I fell (was pushed) off the sofa once after jumping up and down on the furniture with my sister and gashed my head on the door lock mechanism when I was a kid. Did I tell my mother? No. Did I tell on my sister? No. Did I survive? Yes.

I walked into an I-bar pole once outside "Korvettes" deparment store - splat. I have a scar on my forehead from it. I didn't know I was bleeding until it ran on my coat. My mother put a makeshift "butterfly" bandage on it and I never went to the doctor. Again, I lived.

There's gotta be another in there at some point.

And I hit my head pretty hard loading stuff into a dumpster at my parents' house in Jersey when we were cleaning out the house/sheds after they died, before we put the house on the market. Did I go to the ER? Nope. Death? Nope.

So, four times. Four times in 48 years. That averages once every 12 years. Not bad.

How many times have I hit my head since December...since I've been on Warfarin?

About a dozen.

Sure, you can surmise I'm just more AWARE of my head now so I remember every little knock and bump - and it might be true. But let me give you the rundown on some of my head hits:

Taking a shower...after putting the Waterpik showerhead doodle back on the holder - it decided to jump off and hit me right smack on the forehead as I was kneeling down turning off the faucets. Number of instances documented of a Waterpik showerhead jumping off its holder and attacking a person? Oh...I Googled - I found none.

Flushing the toilet after - well...flushing the toilet and hitting my head on the towel cabinet which sits directly over the toilet. The odds? Again...probably higher than the showerhead incident...but still, relatively low.

The microwave door left open aka "you're stupid, Mariann - close it already" syndrome. An over-the-oven microwave door left open and my head coming into contact with it? You don't want to know how many times.

Unlocking the cat door - and hitting my head on the overhanging granite edge on a wood chopping-block cabinet when I got back up...in the pantry? Once. Resulted in subsequent CT scan. I do not recommend doing this - it hurts.

Tossing grocery bags in the backseat of the car when I've been used to a much higher profile van? Once. Again...it hurts and requires a trip to the ER...and also makes you cry in the parking lot of Fresh Market...not because of the pain...but because you know there's probably a cat scan involved at some point...because, as the book says, I HAVE to let my doctor know I hit my head.

Putting the cats' water bowl in the water bowl/food holder, which, ironically, sits directly under the pot holder rack - and directly adjacent to the very pointy and very hard wooden pub table top in the kitchen. Both - varying degrees of hitness...varying angles...varying areas of my head.

And the mother of all "oh, c'mon and cut me a break already" events?

Lobbing, very softly and very slowly...a rubber playground-type soccer ball to my daughter whilst talking on a cell phone. This is where I swear to you that I can chew gum and walk at the same time...unless there is blood-thinner involved. First lob on the grass? Fine. No problem. Ball crossing street...me crossing street...me crossing my one leg over the other to just barely kick the ball back? Gotcha! I fell flat - like someone dropped off the side of a building, flat...on my right side. My cell phone flies across the street. The first thing I thought? "Oh...damn...I hope I didn't break my cell phone!" The second thing I thought? "WHY did you kick the ball to me? Why why? And WHY did I kick it back?" Third..."call on-call doctor"...who proceeds to say the magic words "Well, you didn't hit your head...and I don't think you fell hard enough to rupture your spleen or liver - because that would be fatal. Would you maybe like to go to Pri-Med?" "Nah, that's okay...I think I'll just risk DEATH...what do YOU think??!"

I now am a master of awareness. I am aware of my head in relationship to my body and to any object at any given time. I get up slowly from any kneeling position - I look up before I get up...I find myself looking up when I am standing up...for no explicable reason whatsoever; and I stand far away from the underside of my showerhead. No kidding.

My life (and my head) is now like one of those 'spoon and egg' races...only a LOT slower...and always wearing shoes and gloves...you know...JUST in case; and, as long as I wear shoes and gloves as I walk to the pool in the backyard, I'll be okay...right? Right??


  1. very funny-enjoyed reading it

  2. Is it just me, or do the concepts "stay active" and "don't do anything but walk or swim" kinda fly in the face of one another?

    Maybe you should just get a motorcycle helmet or something.

  3. Yes...to me it was very silly. I didn't get out all the other "life sentence"-type things the booklet explained...it was basically "life as you know it has ended...enjoy the rest of your life hating the rest of your life!"

  4. What they neglected to tell you was that there are other protrusions from your body besides your head. While on Warfarin, I reached under my office chair to turn the knob so that I could adjust the tilt......cut my hand on an itty bitty screw that had been there for years, then as I sat upright, the tilt knob fell off and I went backwards and hit my head on the edge of another chair's wheels. FOUR HOURS LATER, my hand is still bleeding and I'm in the ER. Yep. Go enjoy yourself.

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  8. I can relate...coumadin is a pain, lol. I just try to tell myself its better than the alternative. :)

  9. My Dad was on Warfarin for a few years. Of course, the most exercise he did during those years was probably unscrewing the lid on the pickle jar. On the other hand, I play fast-pitch softball with a guy who is a bit older than me (I'm 57) and he had a heart attack a couple of years back and they put him on Warfarin. He still plays. The only concession he made is that he now wears a batting helmet.