Archive for Life

2+1+3+1 = madness

Posted in Animal Farm with tags , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by Alison Amok

“We are all worms.  But I believe that I am a glow-worm.”

-Sir Winston Churchill


Hello Gorgeous!  I swear I SWEAR I am back back.  And that’ll be the last time I’ll be gone for an extended period of time.  (Hopefully)

So let’s see.  I’ve been in school and it’s nuts but great.  I’ve been annoying Husband talking about everything I’m learning again.  He’s a good sport though and placates me most of the time….

But on to the big news!  We added a new family member to our house! Meet Winston!too damn cute

He is just awesome.  And we love him.  He was born 2 Mar 2010 and that makes him 15 weeks old.  He is another Weimaraner just like Amelia.

For those of you just joining us… let me refresh you on our furry family.

Our first-born is Amelia.  She is 6 years old.  She is Husband’s second best friend and a totally spoiled rotten princess.

princess... spoiled rottenThen there are the cats….all three of them.


nom nom nomLouis (King Louie)

well hello there....and Kitty


So anyways… We’ve been having fun over at Chez Amok.  Puppy life doesn’t always lend itself real well to studying.  Which is why I’d say I’ve been less than participatory in life in general lately and why this post isn’t as eloquent as usual.  But Amelia and Winston have been getting along like they’ve always been together which helps with any growing pains that could come up.

always togetherIt’s actually kinda funny… we went to PetSmart the other day to buy animal food (which we always seems to be almost out of) and I had Winston over in the collar aisle and Husband had Amelia looking at food….Winston who apparently can’t function without Amelia started baby barking looking for Amelia.  And from all the way across the store I hear one Amelia bark (which was awesome since Amelia hardly ever barks!) as almost to say “I’m here don’t worry” and the Winston stopped.  Craziness huh?

Onto school.Too much homework.  Too little time.  Too much memorization and not enough space.  Husband laughs that I’m even more scatterbrained than usual and I tell him that he can laugh all the way to the bank eventually because despite the fact that I’ll be the oldest med student ever, all the nonsense will be worth it to finally be Dr. Amok.

Right now is pharmacology.  Loving the pharmacology.  Not loving the grueling study schedule but I am always amazed how just a few chemicals can alter your life!  Those who’ve done fertility drugs can attest to that.  Despite the fact it didn’t work for us I remember being awed at how Clomid made me feel like a 13 year old girl with the crazy hormones and acne etc.  Amazing.  Truly.

Anyways…. I really have to go back to studying.

Anxiolytics, Barbiturates, and Analgesics.  Oh My!!

So tell me about your animals…. I’m always curious to see how other people feel about their animals.  Or are we the only weird ones with dogs who take the place of children.


Well Hello There

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , on August 14, 2009 by Alison Amok

“I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.”

-Winston Churchill


Funny running into you here…oh wait this is my page isn’t it?  You’ve missed me, I’m sure.  But I’m back and alive.  I’ll spare you all the pancre-assinine details except it was hell and now its better, for now.  Anywho….

I’m back.  And I promise we’ll get back to the regular schedule programming but first a few housekeeping items.

  1. I want to first thank Liz (@ The Wit Factory).  You truly are my best friend and I appreciate everything you did for Husband and me.  And thank you for letting all four of my readers know that I wasn’t dead and didn’t plan on being dead anyways.
  2. Second.  Let me tell you, I have good friends/readers.  This wonderful stranger friend sent me a movie.  And not just any movie, one of the trashiest you-hate-to-admit-but-have-watched-way-too-much-too-be-considered-normal movie.  She sent me Cruel Intentions.  Awesome.  So thank you thank you Jendeis (@ SellCrazy Someplace Else).
  3. I am feeling better.  Amen.  And hopefully this time my pancre-ass and liver will play nice and we can feel better for awhile.
  4. Oh and guess what?  We are back to officially trying again.  Wish us luck.

Yeah so that’s about it for now.

I promise I’ll get back to regular writing because I know y’all missed me.  Hell, I missed me.

PS – I wanted to share one of my favorite pictures from our wedding.  We’re coming up on our five year anniversary and planning our DISNEY VACATION!  We’re going for our honeymoon anniversary.


Write Left?

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , on June 20, 2009 by Alison Amok

“I love talking about nothing.  It is the only thing I know anything about.”

-Oscar Wilde


I’ve never really thought of myself as a really great writer.  I love books but that is a whole other post and trust me I’ll get there eventually.  And being a book lover, I also am fascinated with the authors.  Which is why I’m telling y’all about this.

So in this month’s Real Simple (seriously y’all, its organizational p*o*r*n) they announced The Second-Annual Life Lessons Contest.  And normally I’m not really into contests, contest entering and, in general, those who participate in them.  BUT….this is a really good one.

I think the best part of the internets is that I get to read some of the smartest women everyday!  I get to be your friend, your family, your sounding board and your shoulder to cry on.  I am privileged to some of your most intimate details.  Daily, I am humbled by your way with words and wish that one day you too might look forward to reading my daily comings and goings.

So here it is ladies (and the occasional gent)…tell us about when you first realized that you were a grown-up.  I think it would be so awesome if everyone entered the contest but I know that life sometimes get in the way of such grand things.  So even if you don’t enter the contest, I want to know your answers.  Write it about it in your blog!  At a minimum tell me in the comments!  Either way.  I’m thinking we could get some really great answers and even better stories!

So start typing people!

Animal Farm

Posted in Animal Farm with tags , , , , on June 8, 2009 by Alison Amok

“I like pigs.  Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.”

-Winston Churchill


It’s almost stereotypical in our house these days.  Along with the other childless, Husband and I have created our own family out of animals.  The joke is on us though because I swear our house has ostensibly become the living incarnation of Animal Farm.  Daily, it seems as if our animals act in congress and are constantly deliberating the state of the union and the pros and cons of continued human co-habitation in our home.  Quite honestly, I often feel that if our cats ever figured out how to open the canned cat food for themselves, then Husband and I would be handed an eviction notice, tout de suite (like, yesterday).

You know, I read somewhere recently (seriously people I can’t remember everything) that cats communicate mostly through body language and tail movements and meow, basically, only to feeble-minded humans (they don’t even bother with dogs).  Because they know from birth that humans ultimately are beneath them and have only been placed upon the earth just to serve them.  From the beginning, like that popular girl from high school, they only speak to you to talk down to you.

We have three such creatures in our home.  Three cats.  Each with their own personality, their own likes and dislikes and each is a dictator in their own right.  The brilliant Jean Cocteau (he wrote Beauty and the Beast) once said “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul”.  Because seriously nothing better defines the madhouse we live in than these three oddball characters who run my home.  I think in order to fully understand our little moth poachers, I’m going to have to name some names.  And as a little background, so far, Husband and I have found character appropriate names for our furriest family members from the timelessness of Disney.  (I say furriest because Husband leans towards being pretty furry himself 😉 )

First comes Bagheera. She is as black as her character in The Jungle Book and just as temperamental.  True to character, she leads the pack with a thinly-veiled contempt and composed exasperation for the buffoons in her charge and has fine tuned her snobbery to an art form.  She is the Princess Grace of our home and can be normally found posed regally as if anything else is just too undignified for her to even fathom. She also is the brave adventurer of the group and she spends quite a significant amount of time observing our comings and goings.  No detail is missed by her steely gaze and often it feels as if our behavior is being catalogued a la Jane Goodall for some anthropological primate research study.  She is incredibly playful and has an affinity for playing in her water bowl but it would be incredibly undignified for her to be found doing such.  She waits until she thinks you’re not watching and then she plays in the water like a toddler in the bath.  All she needs are some Bagheera-sized boats and water toys to make the image complete.  But as long as she is being watched, she is the feline version of Audrey Hepburn, all elegance and grace.

Our middle child is Louis.  Or as he is officially known, King Louie, named also from a Jungle Book character, although he prefers the more formal name of Louis.  Louis is my accident child.  Husband and I were quite satisfied with our one kitten, when we got a the fateful call from the local ASPCA.  Let me tell you, they sure saw Husband coming when he started volunteering with them because they totally knew how to tug his sentimental heartstrings.  “Hello Mr. Amok, I know you said you weren’t interested in any other animals but we have this cat that will have to put to sleep unless someone adopts him by tonight.”  And that was how Louis joined our family.  From the beginning, we knew he was, well, special.  Most days he can be found sleeping in awkward positions, hanging from furniture and snoring little kitty snores.  Lately, he has taken to standing in the corner by our front door.  Faced into the corner, like a petulant child in time out or being punished by grumpy nuns at the catholic school.  I have absolutely no idea why, but he seems content enough.  Occasionally, one of the others will visit him there as if they too are trying to figure out the mystery of the corner but they don’t stay long as apparently only Louis possesses the proper corner intuition.  Just like his namesake, Louis, more often than not, is draped across and over the edge of our furniture.  He is the hang-e-est cat I’ve ever met and is not content unless his overweight body is perilously dangling over the side of something.

Kitty, is the newest addition to our home.  Kitty came to us from Miami by way of my sisters home in North Carolina.  Dee found Kitty while on spring break in Miami and could not leave this poor, defenseless kitten in the wilds of Miami.  So because of a combination of allergies, dorm policies and fate we ended up with this vicious Kitty.  Kitty was actually named because that was the only thing she came to but we kept it because there actually is a Disney character called Kitty.  In the movie Monsters, Inc., Sulley is surprised by a stowaway little girl who mistakes his excessive fur for that of a cat and calls him Kitty.  So Kitty stuck and became a part of our dysfunctional family.  Amelia is the bane of her existence and throws quite the kitty-fit and hisses anytime Amelia dares violate Kitty’s air space.

Those who know me, as well as those just becoming familiar, know though the true baby in our family is Amelia.  Amelia is a Weimaraner, a regal breed, bred for German royalty.  Amelia Wright is her name, Wright for where she was born in Dayton, Ohio – hometown of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  And apparently the cash register, which was invented in Dayton too, who knew so much famous came from this unassuming heartland city.  Anyways, most people know an Amelia, were related to an Amelia, they like/love/hate the name.  As a child I delighted in reading the adventures of Amelia Bedelia and her literal interpretations of her housekeeping duties (she made a sponge cake out of actual SPONGE!!).  I remember learning this whole other world of words, learning that what you say isn’t so important as how you say it.  You need to read the books but this is not where Amelia got her name.  Amelia’s name comes from the movie The Aristocats, which funnily enough is Amelia’s favorite movie and she actually will sit and watch this movie.  So in the movie, the cats on their journey meet two geese sisters, Amelia and Abigail Gabble.  These talkative sisters had that geese waddle that our little puppy had down to a science.  And Amelia joined our family and has been absolutely spoiled rotten ever since.

As I said earlier, cats apparently only meow to talk to humans and my Bagheera obviously has a lot to say because she talks quite a bit to me.  About the same time each day, she joins me and will tell me her thoughts.  If I have been gone for a few hours, I am normally greeted with a loud run down of what I missed while I was gone and how her day has been going so far.  She occasionally comes to me to loudly complain about something, normally some frustration around Amelia occupying her nap space, Louis pestering her or the substandard drinking water in her bowl.  And God forbid she gets locked in a room because then you’re in for a talking to.

I think its funny because she doesn’t really talk to Husband that much.  She does like him quite well as a warm sleeping space though and his continued approval for remaining in our home is contingent of supplying a warm, human sized sleeping area. So until the day we are handed our walking papers by the High Court of Cat, Husband and I continue to graciously live in our cat’s home.  Luckily they allow us to have pets, because it would be hard to find a new castle for Princess Amelia.

Pancre-Ass Act 2

Posted in Pancre-ass with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by Alison Amok

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald


If you’re just getting here please read the first part of this story at Pancre-Ass Act 1.

So here we are, nine months out from my last surgery.  I can normally be found attached to my heating pad on any given day, which has caused a permanent “burn” to my stomach from living with it on my tummy trying to help with the pain.  I’m pretty tethered to my home these days by either my heating pad or my many medications.  I can’t just run out on errands without planning or a designated driver because I need to take narcotics and anti-nausea medication that make it unsafe for me to drive.  So I plan my outings for when my medication is wearing off and I can safely drive.  Every day I take two different pain medications, one a narcotic, the other a “synthetic narcotic” that makes my pain manageable.  I also take two different anti-nausea medications, one that is incredibly sedating and the other, while it does not make me sleepy, its made for cancer patients and the chemotherapy induced nausea.  This second pill is incredibly expensive and costs about $30 a pill.  So needless to say, my insurance only allows me so many of these a month.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I was in the Air Force.  All this began in 2004 about 3 years into my enlistment.  I finally was medically retired in December of 2008.  So I’ve been able to keep my health insurance and get a small retirement check every month.  This is nice because Husband and I don’t have to worry much about the costs of my care and we can afford for me to be sick.  I don’t have to work if I don’t want to and am able to go back to school full time now.

I bet you’re wondering exactly how much patient care I’ve racked up so let me tell you.  I have had 5 ERCP’s, my gallbladder removed, my appendix removed and polyps removed from my uterus.  I have been admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis 6 times and I have lost count the ER visits for when I lose control of my pain and can’t handle it at home any more.  My ER visits normally entail IV fluids, a crazy amount of narcotics, assorted non-narcotic pain medications, multiple doses of anti-nausea medication, blood draws to make sure my liver and pancreatic enzymes are too crazy high warranting an actual hospital admission and an occasional CT scan or abdominal x-ray just to cover the ER doc’s butt and make sure I don’t have some weird tumor or obstruction causing my issues.

I hate ER’s.  HATE HATE HATE them… Well I hate being a patient in them.  I love working in the ER.  Because ER’s deal with all the crayzee who want these drugs and its hard not to be looked at questionably until they read my history.  And then I get absolutely snowed from all the drugs they start pumping through my IV.  And there are good nurses and not-so-great nurses.  The doctors normally are totally understanding and way helpful.  But the nurses can sometimes be real bitches.

Look, I know how it rolls in ERs.  I’ve worked in them my whole professional career until recently.  And some people are just lazy, crazy, bitchy, and/or burnt out and need to move on.  The worst is I’ll occasionally get a nurse who forgets how to push certain drugs and I end up with my arm on fire because they pushed a medication too fast.  Or they don’t listen to me when I tell them my IV has infiltrated again.  And don’t even get me started on telling them I’m a hard stick.  I never tell anyone anymore, I just let them figure it out for themselves.  Because I have learned the HARD WAY that if you tell the person putting in your IV that you are a hard stick they will blow it off and go out of their way to prove your wrong even if that means sticking you 17 times.  YES, once I was so sick I went through 17 sticks before I was able to get an IV.  I do have a rule though.  If you are rude and not nice to me you get two tries, move on let someone else try it because I’m already sick I don’t need you taking your angst out on me.  If you are pleasant about it though, I’ll let you stick me ’til the cows come home because I know its not your fault.  It’s my veins, they suck and pretty much don’t want to participate.  Oh and by the way… Husband is a medic by trade too courtesy of the Air Force and he has a time or two gotten frustrated with the medical staff and started my IV’s for me.

Oh and I forgot to mention the best part, with all my liver issues I bruise incredibly easily.  And all the blood draws and IV’s needed for my tests often make my arms look like a druggy.  There have been days when Husband refuses to let me leave the house without long sleeves on because he’s afraid people will think he’s beating me.

But we make it through it all some how.  It’s become our life and I know its hard for people to understand it.  My parents are wonderful though albeit a little frustrated sometimes because its hard for them to see me so sick and in the hospital all the time.  My mother worries about all my ER visits and hospital admissions and always tries to convince me to let her rush to my side.  Normally I successfully can convince her I’m fine and Husband is taking good care of me.  But now that we live 4 hours away from her, here in DC, instead of the 10 hours we were when we lived in Ohio… I’m thinking I won’t be able to convince her to stay at home anymore.  But that’s fine.  Being in the hospital is really boring and even with all the crazy drugs its no fun.  So all visitors are welcome and I’ve been told I can be pretty entertaining while attached to the Demerol and/or Morphine drip.

Husband and I have it down to a science though.  Before each of my surgeries, I pack a back of essentials.  Underwear, comfortable bras, socks, yoga pants, tank tops and cardigan sweaters.  I throw in some toiletries, like those nice face wipes, Clinique face lotion, my Johnson’s baby lotion for my skin, a comb, a new toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant.  I normally put in a book that I never read because the drugs make it hard to focus and read.   I put some new DVD movies and my old faves in a travel CD book and pack that too.  I make sure my computer, Nintendo DS, my games, my iPod and all my chargers are packed.  And we put that aside so when I eventually am admitted, Husband can just run home and I have all my creature comforts.

The clothes are the most important part though.  I hate, hate, hate hospital gowns.  They are uncomfortable and completely unflattering.  So I like to bring my own clothes.  The clothes serve a purpose though and that’s why I always bring my own.

Because all the IV contrasts from the ERCP’s and MRI’s and CT’s and all the drugs are so harsh on my veins, my veins are really bad.  I have little veins and they are angry angry after years of medical drama.  And normally I end up with some sort of semi-permanent IV access such as a PICC line or central line.  This is always better in the long run because then I can have a couple different IV fluids running at the same time, have my medication given to me on time, and they have an easy way to draw my blood with out poking and re-poking and re-poking.

The tank tops are important so I don’t have to strip everytime my lines need to be fussed with.  They provide easy access to my chest or arms and I can retain some of my modesty.  And my cardigans provide warmth while being gentle and stretch around any lines coming from my arms.  Plus just because I’m sick, it doesn’t mean I have to be unfashionable.  I normally pack my most colorful sweaters, the bright colors or the fun polka dot ones.  And my socks are always colorful.  I have a million of ankle socks in every color and pattern available.  Because looking down at my feet in my hospital bed, seeing purple polka dots makes my heart happy.

Husband is always great to me during this time and never lets me see his fear.  If anything he takes the opportunity to razz on me a little bit more.  😉  He always sneaks me in an ICEE or two.  He rubs my swollen feet caused by all the IV fluids and puts lotion on my itchy dry legs.  In the ER and right after my procedures, he’ll read to me.  And he such a good sport because he reads whatever I happen to be reading at the time, even if its one of those guilty pleasure romance novels by Nora Roberts.  He is a fabulous husband and I love him dearly, but the fact that he reads to me is what melts my heart.  He hates it, I know, but he does it without complaint and even grudgingly gets into the story and will do voices.

So there it is.  The whole story.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If I wasn’t clear on something let me know!  Or if you just want to know all the little, juicy details I will share!  I have come to terms with my life and it is kinda cathartic talking about it all.

In another post I’ll talk about my fears for the future.  But I feel I’ve said enough for now and I need to give y’all a chance to digest (pun intended) all the information given to you today.

I have an appointment at Georgetown with my doctor in two weeks and we’ll be scheduling my next ERCP then.  I’m dreading the surgery but looking forward to being off the drugs again for awhile.  Its always fun being healthy again, even temporarily, and I normally go a little wild.  Last time I got a tattoo.  This time, I’m starting school so I’m thinking thats enough adventure for this heathly cycle.

Pancre-Ass Act 1

Posted in Pancre-ass with tags , , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by Alison Amok

“Life’s disappointments are harder to take when you don’t know any swear words.”

-Calvin & Hobbes (Bill Watterson)


I am broken and Husband apparently forgot to buy the extended warranty when he purchased me.

It recently occurred to me that you might be curious about this mystery illness I’ve casually glossed over and mentioned here and there.  This post will not be witty.  It will not be full of wistful prose.  It will be an open, outright, and frank discussion on the reality of my life.  So here it goes, try and keep up.

Basically, I have broken pancreatic (or biliary) ducts.  For those of you not in the know, because seriously who really wanders around going “Wow today I want to learn all about the pancreas”, I will explain. So lets get a little anatomy lesson first.

Three organs produce digestive “juices” that help break down the food you eat.  These are the pancreas, the liver and the gallbladder.  The biliary ducts act as the plumbing system for these organs.  The biliary ducts allow bile from your liver to be released from your liver.   The pancreas is the organ normally know for being responsible for producing insulin, which is used to control your blood sugar.  But the pancreas also is responsible for producing a number of hormones and also enzymes that further help breakdown food in your intestines.  Bile is required to digest the food you eat.  Extra bile is stored in the gallbladder until its needed, this is a good organ to have but not necessary so when you have gallbladder problems surgeons normally just remove it.  The gallbladder is basically the middle man between the liver and pancreas, because it holds bile until its needed.  The biliary tree is basically all the ducts that connect these three organs and transport the bile and pancreatic enzymes to the intestines.  So just to make sure we’re all on the same page here…. Bile comes from the liver, through bile ducts, into the pancreas, extra bile is stored in the gallbladder, extra enzymes are added by the pancreas, then all of the bile is transported through the common bile duct into the intestines to break down and absorb your food.  Got it?  Good.

So now that you understand basically how this system works, you can begin to understand my condition.  There isn’t really an official “name” to the condition (like Lupus or Diabetes) I have but it basically referred to as Pancreatic Duct Strictures.  My condition isn’t really just one thing, its more like a lot of little things causing huge problems.  Pancreatic duct strictures can be the result from several things like infection, cancer, gallstones, or for unknown causes which is my version.  My doctors have no idea why I suddenly developed these strictures.   A stricture is basically a significant narrowing of the duct, causing a much smaller hole for everything to go through.

These strictures cause huge problems though.   Because my ducts become so narrow, bile that normally would pass through the pancreas is backing up into my liver.  And because the liver also filters the body of toxins, these toxins are also included in the bile on the way out via the bile ducts.  So all those toxins building up in my liver cause for a lot of problems.  This whole cascade of problems is where my illness lies.  The liver and pancreas cause me a lot of pain.  They also give me a lot of nausea.  And when my liver is particularly sick I get unbelievably itchy.  Because apparently all those toxins that build up in the liver cause a reaction similar to an allergic reaction and cause itching that no allergy medication can fix.  The damaged liver also causes fatigue and arthritis symptoms.  And because my pancreas isn’t being used like it normally should be, because of the duct stricture within the pancreas itself, my pancreas is slowly atrophying.  Basically, its shrinking and slowly dying because it’s not being used, just like muscles do if they’ve been in a cast too long!

At this point I’m sure you’re wondering why this hasn’t been fixed yet!  Well that is a simple answer, it can’t.  Well that’s not entirely true.  There is a major surgery that is an option that requires basically my whole digestive system to be literally taken apart and re-wired.  This is very serious and normally reserved for last case scenario.  Transplantation might also become an option later on if my liver and pancreas become damaged enough.

But we do have a temporary fix and this is why all this comes in cycles.  About once a year, or sometimes more often if my liver starts getting really sick, I have a surgical procedure called an ERCP.  This procedure is done under general anesthesia, that uses endoscopes, like they use for colonoscopies, to take a closer look at the inside of my pancreas and all the ducts.  During this procedure my doctor inserts a temporary stent into the strictured area, to re-stretch out the stricture.  But obviously this is temporary and the ducts start to clamp down again.

After my ERCP, I normally develop pancreatitis.  This is a complication that occurs in 40% of patients after an ERCP, but due to my already scarred ducts and repeated procedures, I’ve developed it every time.  Pancreatitis is literally hell on earth.  Imagine the worst pain you’ve ever had then multiply it times ten.  And all the narcotics they pump through my veins barely touch the pain, they basically just sedate, numb and make me not care about the pain.  I’m live in the drugged state that isn’t sleep because I hurt so bad that sleep is impossible but it isn’t awake because of all the chemicals.  Normally I lose two weeks of my life to a drug-induced haze following my surgeries.

But then, I’m better again.  Its more than better, I’m fabulous again.  Its like one day I wake up and all the pain, the nausea, itching, fatigue is gone.  I am incredibly healthy for about six months and then I begin my downward slide again.  Its a horrible, never ending cycle.  But it is my life, and Husband and I have adjusted to it.

My last surgery was in August of last year and I am pretty sick these days.  The downward spiral towards my next surgery is getting shorter.  I’ve postponed my surgery to about as far as I can go.  Husband and I were hoping to try and push my next surgery out until August again in an attempt for me to be really healthy at the end of this year.  We are going to Disney World in December for our five year anniversary, because we never were able to take a honeymoon because I needed to have an ERCP right after our wedding and then Husband was deployed to Afghanistan for a year about six months after our wedding.  And then life got in the way as it normally does.  I’m also going back to school full time and didn’t want to be sick my first few months, while trying to get back into school mode.

I figure this is a good stopping point for right now.  The rest of the story will be in my next post.  I just don’t want to overwhelm y’all with too much at once.  Because I know it is a crazy story.

I Say Tomato, You Say Tomato

Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , , on May 28, 2009 by Alison Amok

L’accent du pays où l’on est né demeure dans l’esprit et dans le coeur, comme dans le langage.

(The accent of the place in which one was born lingers in the mind and in the heart as it does in one’s speech.)

-François, duc de La Rochefoucauld


I Say Tomato, You Say Tomato…  So obviously that doesn’t translate very well into writing but that’s exactly the point for today’s post.  Today we are discussing accents, common phrases and your individual lexicons.

I am from the Grand Ole’ South, North Carolina to be specific.  Husband is from the Northeast, and he’s currently telling me that he is from Massachusetts.  Because apparently this makes a difference.  Anyways, luckily he is not from the “pahk the cah on Havahad Yawhd” area (Boston).  He is from Western Massachusetts, home to Amherst, farmland and the Basketball Hall of Fame.  I consider myself lucky he is from this area of the north because most the time listening to Northerners talk makes me want to stick a magnolia branch into my brain.

So while I claim the south as my home, in reality I am a product of international traveling.  My father was in the Air Force too and for the 18 years I lived with them we moved quite often.  From California to Turkey to seven years in Charleston, South Carolina to Italy to North Carolina.  I spent three years in Italy while in seventh through ninth grade.  I finished high school in a small southern town about thirty minutes from Raleigh.

So all in all, I’ve got about 12 years of southern dialect slowly driving every northerner in Husbands family crazy!  Funnily enough, a few years into our marriage, while we were living in Ohio, Mother-in-Law commented that I was rubbing off on him and he sounded so southern!  Now that I think about it, I do think my southern ways have rubbed off on him.

Northerners tend to speak quickly, get their point across and be done with it.  Southerners on the other hand… well not so much.  We tend to talk slowly, draw things out and run off on tangents.

For the most part, I really don’t have much of an accent and someday’s it’s worse than others.  And when I get worked up, let me tell you, my accent comes out hardcore.

I think the funniest thing that I say as a southerner is “use to could”.  As in, “Well I use to could get Krispy Kreme’s at the grocery store but now I can’t”.  And bwah-ha-ha my evil plan has worked because my dead set Northern husband now has worked that phrase into his vocabulary.

The first time he did, it was totally by accident and he tried to quickly gloss over it and keep talking…..but I caught it and totally jumped all over it.  “OMGOMG you SAID IT!  Hahahaha you are now one of us!”

And I’m thinking the worst part about Husbands slow southernization (nope not a word but it is now) is that he is becoming more open to moving even further south than our current Northern Virginia Home.  At first he was a litttle appalled to be living in a Confederate state but now we’re talking about moving to officially southern cities after I finish medical school.  We’re talking Charlotte, Dallas, Austin.  Be still my southern heart.

We love DC and most likely will stay in the area, just somewhere a little further south (HAHA) with more land.  Husband one day would love to have a mini-farm.  I have no idea why.  I told him go ahead buy your farm but I’m Scarlett O’hara-ing it (pre-civil war of course) and spending my time under the magnolia tree and shopping.  I don’t do dirty.

So as a living example of North vs. South in our home.  I’m thinking the war will go on, but I’m thinking the South will rise again.

So interwebs…. tell me about your accent and how it effects your relationship.