Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Wednesday, September 24, 2008  
October 31, 2006. I got up in the night and while stumbling around in the dark I bashed my foot into the side of my desk. Side of foot swelled. A lot. Lots of pain. Ow. Several doctors, tests, treatments and lots of money later…

October 26, 2007. I had surgery to repair the torn peroneal tendon and remove a scarily huge lump of scar tissue strangulating the tendon and nerves. The results were…eh. Some improvement in range of motion and fewer aches in the foot overall. But. The original swollen lump and pain from bashing my foot into the desk remained, even after all that surgery, healing, physical therapy, time and: Money. Lots and lots and lots of money.

September 9, 2008. The fourth podiatrist (and the fourth high exalted “best in the city, impossible to even get an appointment, he’s a miracle worker”) declared me: A medical mystery. He looked over all the tests, did a few of his own, gave me some topical pain reliever and wished me well.

September 22, 2008. I limped into a new doctor’s office. (relatively unknown, not highly exalted, and didn’t require special favors between doctors to get an appointment) The swollen painful lump throbbing and jabbing me with sharp spikes of pain every time I stepped on it. Patient demeanor: depressed and merely going through the motions of “exhausting all possibilities.”

The new doctor gave me a thorough exam and review of what the medical community and I have done in the past two years to solve what, by all accounts thus far, appears on the surface to be a cut and dried case of a broken bone. But all interior imaging tests show: Nothing terribly out of the ordinary which would cause that kind of swelling and pain.

She nodded her head. She’s seen this sort of thing. She was sympathetic and understanding. She said, “AND, that’s in a horrible spot, too. You must be in agony. It’s like having a giant pebble in your shoe.” Yes. Yes it is. This is the first acknowledgment from a doctor about the size and placement of the swelling and the pain I’ve been in since the whole thing began.* So that right there made my antennae tingle. An empathetic doctor?! Really?! She’s a quack or she’s good. Real good.

I have an open mind about most things. I’m usually up for trying just about anything. Life is about learning. You can’t learn anything if you don’t keep an open mind. You can’t learn anything if you’re unwilling to try new things. The more experiences you accumulate, the more interesting your life. I’m lucky – I have a seriously high level of natural curiosity. And determination. And patience. And no fear of failure. And no ego. And quite often, no shame. (And parents who encouraged and indulged my curiosity and pursuit of new experiences. And education.) So. I have great parents and a good combination of traits to help with the whole learning, trying, open mind, experiences mentality. I can’t offer any insight on how to acquire curiosity or determination or patience or shamelessness. It’s just how I am. (shrugs, smirks, shrugs) (Though I do know that no regard for shame does a lot to knock down barriers and embolden a person - if you don't care that you look or sound like an idiot you'll jump in and try something whole heartedly much more readily than if you are concerned about making a fool of yourself. Put that on a Successories poster.)

Not exactly the stuff you hear at those weekend motivational seminars out at the airport hotel banquet halls. They love to tell people how to acquire those traits. Usually acquring them is as simple as buying them in a book and posters for sale in the lobby.

But. I had a life changing experience which has already catapulted me to obnoxious levels of zeal. I’ve already called and/or emailed my friends and family. And now I’m going to make you (should you dare to continue to read) suffer through my exaltations.

The new doctor, (my savior, as I’ve come to think of her) asked me if I was interested in trying acupuncture.

Okay. I’ve considered it a few times in the past, but finding a credible practitioner is not exactly easy. Very few people get acupuncture and among the people I know who’ve tried it few give it (or more specifically their practitioner) very high marks. “Eh. It was worth trying but it didn’t help much,” is the response I heard from the people I know who’ve tried it.

But my foot hurts. A lot. Giant pebble in shoe levels of pain. And it’s causing other aches and pains – back, hip, knees are all aching as a result of compensating for the pained foot. There are times the pain wakes me up in the night and lying there, in pain, unable to sleep, I think about animals caught in traps who gnaw off their own paws to obtain freedom. I lie there thinking I can relate to their plight. You do the math, run the numbers, evaluate the options and you reason that gnawing off your foot makes the most sense in the long run. Hey, it couldn't hurt any worse and that paw's not gonna be good for much if it gets released from the trap anyway. That’s my frame of mind.

So. Yes. I’ll do or try anything.

Based on the abysmal results friends have had with acupuncture I was skeptical. But open minded. Yes. You can be both. I wasn’t optimistic, but hey, why not try it, right?

Holy dawn of a new day.

Two years. Two long, painful years. Two years and four podiatrists, two internists, one orthopedic specialist and two pain clinicians. Two years and at least 20 sets of x-rays. Two years and four MRIs. Two years and countless prescriptions for various pain medications. Two years and several injections of cortisone and of something akin to novacaine. Two years and a seriously horrific surgery and recovery. Two years and a nasty scar which runs from above my ankle to the based of my toe.** Two years and thousands of dollars paid out my own pocket as well as my insurance company’s pool of money.

Two years of all that (and more) but still the painful lump remains. No further ahead than I was the night of the original injury.

20 minutes of tiny pins placed in specific places on my body, and a couple of “twirls” of a pin in my head and, voila! I wasn’t pain free but I could step on my foot without pain shooting stars in my field of vision. Another twirling of the head pin and 10 minutes after that and I could have skipped or jumped rope back to the office – almost entirely pain free.

The lump is still there. It will probably always be a medical mystery. Sure, I’d like to find out what it is and solve the problem. But that’s obviously asking too much of the medical community. So. I have found a way to alleviate the pain. Without drugs. Without involving expensive imaging equipment. Without being written off and passed off to another doctor.

For the first time in two years I have a bright ray of hope. I forgot what it feels like to feel normal. I forgot what it’s like to not dread every step. I was dealing with it. But within 30 minutes I remembered how it feels to feel almost normal. I’d rather deal with that. My foot and ankle still ached a little, but it no longer felt like there was a giant pebble in my shoe. I could wiggle and feel my toes. (Which had been numb to the point of near paralysis.)

Swut you, Western medical profession. You’ll not get another penny of my money for my foot and ankle. My foot has been a cash cow for two years. That money train has come to its final destination and it’s not making a return trip. You’ve nearly bankrupted me and did nothing but pat me on the head and pawn me around from doctor to doctor, test to test, lab to lab. No, not swut you, this deserves a fuck you.

I had faith in the medical profession. I never thought them to be the ultimate answer, the font of all knowledge, but I had faith in them. I trusted my doctor, my hospital, the specialists. And I blamed myself – and my weird body and the way weird things happen to me. I laughed it off – “har har, when I do something I do it big, never run of the mill for me, oh no, not for me a standard injury. It’s not the doctors’ fault, it’s me, I’m weird.”

And then my dad’s life saving cancer surgery spawned a staph infection which went undiagnosed for two months, the treatments were too late and he died. Sure, you could argue that without the medical community the cancer would not have been found and he would have died from that. Yep. Eventually. It would have killed him. But he wouldn’t have endured what he went through during the undiagnosed months of the infection. He wouldn’t have been infected with the staph infection in the first place. He trusted the doctors, surgeons and hospital. They didn’t discover and/or react quickly enough to the (many) signs pointing to a staph infection. They let him down. To be fair, once we asserted ourselves and inserted ourselves more obnoxiously in the process and got him to a different set of doctors at a different hospital a diagnosis quickly emerged. A huge team of doctors and student doctors gave it full effort and diagnosed the infection and did everything possible to combat it. They were making progress. But it was too late. His symptoms were "weird." Not normal. He made the same apologetic excuse for his doctors as I've made for mine: It's not them, it's me.

After many doctors shrugging and many inconclusive test results, he, like me, felt that the out of the norm "weird" symptoms were due to something particular and peculiar to him and therefore the doctors couldn't be expected to know what to do for him. My dad was a very intelligent and reasonable person. Sure, he was humble, but not stupidly so. He went in expecting answers from doctors and specialists. They're the experts, after all. But. When several doctors couldn't pin-point the cause of the problems and shrugged him off he assumed it was a) nothing serious and b) some weird thing peculiar to him.

I’ve been battling difficult mixed emotions about this. I regret not insisting on different doctors and different opinions sooner. My parents and I talked about it. But we felt confident in the doctors. If it were anything serious, we thought, it would show up on the tests and/or the doctors would recognize the symptoms. We never in a million years doubted the hospital. We never thought something like deadly staph germs were lurking in the hospital. Or in my dad. We thought the hospital’s good reputation was solid. It never occurred to us that the surgery which rid my dad of deadly cancer would make him vulnerable to infection of lethal staph. We were naïve and too trusting. And my dad paid the price for that. And now we have to learn to live without him. Thanks, medical community. In reasonable, charitable moments I know that “these things happen” and “no one’s to blame” and “blame is pointless, it won’t bring him back to life.” But in other reasonable moments I think, “Yeah, but, a staph infection? C’mon. That’s the sort of thing hospitals and doctors are supposed to prevent.”

No. Acupuncture would not have cured my dad’s cancer. Kudos to doctors and traditional tests for the diagnosis, sure, of course, no argument against traditional medicine there.

And acupuncture would not have diagnosed or cured the deadly infection.

But.

Neither did the traditional medical community.

Add to this my two years of pain and all the money made off me and my injury.

I’m not in a warm and fuzzy place with traditional medicine.

Especially when, in a matter of minutes, thirty swutting minutes, I went from limping in pain to feeling good enough to skip around town.

Here’s some background. My new doctor trained in traditional medicine. The elite schools, primo hospitals, she was top of the class and on a mission to care for the sick and injured and help people live healthy lives. Yay her. Early in her residency she saw the flaws in the system. The shortcomings of many of the procedures. The patients who were shrugged off and sent away with no results or even a diagnosis. Particularly in pain management. So many aches and pains, so many pharmaceutical companies, so many drugs, so many people developing scary symptoms as a result of those drugs. Enter: Acupuncture. Open mind. Curiosity. Eager to learn. New experiences.

Where traditional medicine failed, non-traditional treatments got results.

I don’t know why more doctors don’t embrace that attitude. Not just about acupuncture, but other non-traditional ideas. No, I’m not advocating leaching – but then again, if it gets results, should anyone stand in judgment of the practitioner or patient?

Why is the protocol: Traditional methods first and when all else fails (and/or the health insurance company denies the claims) then consider alternative methods? Why isn’t it the other way around? Or at least a tandem approach?

(Those are rhetorical questions. I’m feeling better and more sarcastic than ever. Amazing what a night of uninterrupted sleep can do for a person’s mental sharpness. If you seriously don’t know why alternative medicine isn’t embraced or at least accepted by the traditional medical community, email me. I’d like to talk to you about a great chance to get in on the ground floor of a new investment opportunity.)

The real question is: How do we, the patients, get the choice? How do we gain respect and credibility when we ask our doctors about alternative health care approaches? I’m not talking, “Hey doc, I think Tom Cruise and all those other Hollywood actors are onto something with that Scientology. What do you think? Do you know any good Scientologists who can help me out with this cancerous growth on my nose?” I’m talking more along the lines of, “Doc, sitting at my desk all day is making my neck ache. I have to work at a desk, so I can’t remove the problem. I don’t mind taking ibuprofen now and then, but they’re so hard on my liver…and I’m doing some exercises the physical therapist taught me…but I’d like to try acupuncture, too. Can you recommend a licensed, credible practitioner?”

Sounds reasonable, right? Wrong. I liked my old internist. I still like her. But. She’s not open to non-traditional methods. She sent me to specialist after specialist after specialist. And I do appreciate the referrals. She got me into a few doctors who never would have seen me without her recommendation. But when I asked her about something outside traditional medicine she’d say, “That’s interesting but I don’t know much about it, I can’t recommend anyone. Be careful, don’t put your health in the hands of someone who isn’t skilled and trained.” Reading between the lines I took that to mean, “and don’t come crying to me when your kooky witch doctor messes you up and you’re in a worse situation than you are now.” I also took it to mean, “I can’t recommend anything which doesn’t bring money into my profession. I have to do my part in a long tradition of self perpetuation and self regulation to uphold, here. You take your problem out of my community and you give money to someone else. I can’t recommend that. We have a new wing and new equipment to pay for and we need your money.”

One of the challenges is probably the sheer amount of less than properly trained practitioners. Like the acupuncturists my friends tried.

Another challenge is pharmaceutical companies. I mean, c’mon. You’re a doctor. You have the choice of spending more time learning more procedures which will raise a few eyebrows among your colleagues (put your credibility into question) and may or may not net results or you can hand out pills, patches and injections the pharmaceutical companies spend bazillions of dollars to develop and lobby and market specifically to you. Hmmmmm. What to do, what to do…

Pardon my cynicism, but after what I’ve endured with my foot for two years and the ridiculous and unnecessary death of my father, both in the hands of traditional medicine which failed us – but happily took a LOT of money from us (and our insurance companies) - I’m less than impressed with the medical community at large and their lack of accountability for themselves. There is no accountability.

Oh sure, malpractice. I know. Malpractice. But after paying $7,200 in out of pocket expenses last year alone, I don’t have the money to pay a lawyer to represent me against the megabeast known as the healthcare industry. I can’t even get a refund for a set of orthotics which three subsequent doctors told me did more damage to my foot and never should have been made for me. Two of those doctors said, “Some podiatrists make a lot of bread and butter money on orthotics, one size fits all orthotics…” basically telling me I was not only scammed, but harmed by one of their colleagues. No, they didn’t come right out and say it, but, all three of them told me to throw away the orthotics – they were causing more damage to my injury. My out of pocket cost for those orthotics? $750. Can I get a refund? I think you know the answer to that. I tried. I called. I wrote letters. My doctor even pleaded my case to the issuing podiatrist. But to no avail. His attitude? “Sue me.” If I had the money and time I would have. (Also note, this guy is allegedly “the best” in the city – people come from all over the country to get an appointment with him. Also note, he had me going in for weekly cortisone injections ($100 a pop, my out of pocket cost). Subsequent doctors shudder when they hear this – “you have to be careful with cortisone…” And yet he is “the best.” Hey, he does hand out vicodin like candy. If you can’t cure ‘em, give ‘em hallucinogenic drugs!)

So. I’m all hopped up high on acupuncture, now. I don’t regret some of what I’ve been through – it was necessary, I needed and wanted to try everything. I was in a lot of pain. My body was telling me to do something about it. There was a tear in a tendon and a huge glob of scar tissue which needed to be treated. However I do regret not turning to alternative treatment sooner. I will absolutely take a two pronged, tandem approach in the future. Traditional and alternative treatments and ideas will be the course of action in terms of my health. Because I do regret the enormous amount of money and time I invested in dead end appointments and treatments. I lost a lot of respect for the system in which traditional doctors work – and thrive. The system puts doctors in the position of seeing patients as chattel they can pass around their system. Doctors need inadequate doctors. Patients go to an inadequate doctor who passes them off to another doctor, another lab, another hospital and voila! more money into the medical community. It’s self perpetuating.

When one doctor has the courage to stop the cycle of financial abuse by trying something non-traditional of course it’s looked down upon by other doctors. I got results. Good results. I’m not going to plow more money into more doctors, more tests, more prescriptions, more whatever they can do to me. I don’t need to – I feel better than I’ve felt in two years. I don’t dread standing up and onto my feet. I can feel and wiggle my toes.

Do I question the hows and whys of acupuncture? Sure. I’m going to get some books and read up on it. But. In the hands of someone who’s trained and studied the methods, it’s harmless – it’s teeny tiny pins. You really don’t feel them. There’s one “jab” which is a bit uncomfortable for a few seconds but other than that it’s pain free. Would it work for everyone? Probably not. But. It worked for me. I got instant results.

Do I want to know what’s wrong with my foot? Of course. But do I want to let the pain claim another year of my life? Of course not. I could take hallucinogenic drugs or I could have some itty bitty pins inserted in me for a few minutes. Hmmmm. Is there really a choice?


*My physical therapist gets it. She knows. She knows how bad it hurts and what I’ve been living with and what I’ve endured in terms of unsuccessful treatments and advice from doctors. She’s never given up on finding relief (or the cause) and she won’t let me give up, either. She’s amazing. Seriously. An incredible human being and an outstanding physical therapist, a credit to her kind.

**Okay, to be fair, the tendon was torn, badly, and there was a scarily huge glob of scar tissue – the surgery was necessary. But still. It didn’t solve the problem of the painful lump.

12:32 PM

 
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