Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Which Jo Twiddles Her Thumbs A Bit.

When a dear, dear old friend decides to grow a moustache as part of a fundraising drive for cancer research, it's best to support him.

Even if the moustache is cringe-worthy.

Like, *really* cringe-worthy.

I would rather see Abilene Rob with a 70's Pornstache (which he once threatened to grow, God help us all) than see my beloved Brother In Beer sporting facial fur again. The first would be temporarily traumatic. The second might scar me for life.

Some guys look distinguished with beards. Some guys look kinda classy with a moustache or a soul patch. BiB looks like he's come down the mountain for his annual hardtack-buying spree and bath.

Darling man, I will send you all the money you want, as long as you promise to shave.

*** *** *** *** ***

Speaking of money, an announcement:

The readers of Head Nurse have made it possible for a person from the Oral Cancer Foundation's Forums to get a Therabite that they could not afford to buy themselves.

You guys really have no idea how big a deal this is.

Trismus, or a restriction in jaw movement, affects the majority of people who undergo treatment for oral cancer. The percentages range from 54%, for those folks who merely have surgery that dislocates or hyperextends the jaw (as mine did) to 100%, for those folks who have to have radiation of the face and neck.

"Restriction of jaw movement" doesn't really cover it. My trismus is minor: I have an unforced mouth opening of about 21 millimeters (just about an inch) prior to stretching. Any opening more than that requires that I stretch, and that involves pain. Sometimes I have jaw spasms so severe that I can't sleep. Sometimes my jaw locks up as I'm eating, and I can't close my mouth for a second.

But I am LUCKY. There are people on the forums who can't open their mouths more than seven millimeters. Seven. I think there might be somebody there who can't even fit one tongue depressor in her mouth, and I know there's a person whose *largest* jaw opening is about what mine is prior to stretching.

Think of what being able to open your mouth less than half an inch would mean.

Think of what not being able to open your mouth at all would mean. You can't eat; you lose weight even with supplemental feedings. Talking becomes difficult; oral hygiene is impossible.

A Therabite, which allows a person to stretch and exercise their jaw in a measurable, comfortable way, can literally mean the difference between being able to talk, eat, and take care of your own teeth and...not.

I added up the money last night that was in the PayPal account and cried. All I'm waiting for now is to hear back from the two people I've emailed, to see if they still need the device.

You guys. You guys. What you have done is huge. You have made such a difference for somebody, and once they're done with the Therabite, they'll pass it on to somebody else who needs it, and what you did will keep going.

*** *** *** *** ***

In other news, I have to figure out how to catproof a Christmas tree. That should be interesting.

Perhaps hang it from the ceiling?


bobbie said...

Could you please reprint the info about how to give?
Thanks much ~~~

Jo said...

If you want to give, just hit the Donate button on the top right hand side of the page. That'll take you to a PayPal screen, and you can hand over your hard-earned moolah there.

Shannon said...

Is your intention to hang the tree from the ceiling or the cat?

Anonymous said...

Added a bit towards another Therabite.

FWIW we used to get blue spruce trees to deter the cats; I think they are beautiful and they are definitely prickly enough to keep the cats out of the branches. That, plus no breakable ornaments below knee height did the trick.

Not sure what will happen this year, as we're forced to use an artificial tree and have just acquired a six month old feral kitty.

Anonymous said...

I remember hanging orange peels on my tree to keep my cat away. Apparantly they don't like the smell.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Margaret Mead's paraphrased quote comes to mind: Never doubt that a small group of committed people can accomplish Change.

We commit to helping you help others. Together we get it done. I am smiling widely at what we have been able to accomplish so quickly.

Hang the tree from the Cat?? I want to see that one.....

Yes, a wire twisted 'round the top of the trunk and then anchored into to a stud in the ceiling will go a long way toward keeping the pointy side up.

Simon said...

I was going to say that you CANT cat-proof the tree - but Shannon makes a good point (and made me laugh out loud)

Cr0w$C@lling said...

Can't..... Be......Done.

Celeste said...

Put up one of those baby-gate corrals around the tree. Otherwise, I got nothin'.

Geosomin said...

I have a small screw in hook in the corner by where we put the tree. After setting up the tree I have fishing wire from the tree to the hook so when our cats climb up it it does not fall down...much.
That and the non-breaky ornaments being on top...

messymimi said...

Congratulations on the Therabite! Really it is your triumph, you are an inspiration for people to get involved.

As for the tree, yes, some people hang them from the ceiling, some put the tree inside a playpen to make it harder for the animals to get to it.

Another method is to find a ceiling stud and screw a big hook into it -- the kind you would use to hold a plant hanger, but much larger. Get some very strong wire, and literally wrap it around the trunk of the tree, going all the way up (no, that isn't easy and yes, it can be done) and tie it off to the hook. You disguise the space between the top of the tree and the hook by wrapping lights around the wire and putting your star or angel on the wire itself. Use unbreakable decorations, and you have a tree the cat can make you crazy knocking stuff off of, but can't overturn.

Tricia said...

Cats hate citrus...we made this recipe (link below) at home and keep it in a spray bottle for anything we want the cats to stay away from...my little darlings love to claw my furniture and were ruining my carpet before I found this.

It needs to be sprayed on every couple of days to a week, but it works. Also had a friend tell me that hanging pine airfreshners (the kind you see swinging from a rear view mirror)in the base of the tree helps too. Good luck

bobbie said...

Thanks, Jo ~