Category Archives: The Cubicle Escapee

Story Time

So yesterday I had the first of two cataract surgeries, and I figured it is time to share how the past few months have been for me.

Lessons I have learned from this entire experience:

1. Get regular checkups especially your eyes
2. I have got to get better about saving money.
3. It is more painful to get a cavity filled than getting cataract surgery.

I have also learned that my vision was bad…. really bad. IN fact I am pretty sure I had no business driving. Seriously.

For example:


The above image is normal 20/20 vision. This is what most people experience every day.

vision post

Until yesterday this is what I experienced. I couldn’t see street signs and color was not very vibrant, I couldn’t distinguish lines and nothing was sharp.

Today  I can  see textures, I can see spots and I can see fine print. I knew my vision was bad, but until the surgery I didn’t realize HOW BAD.
Yes I was legally blind, and it did affect my life. I never wanted to drive at night, I couldn’t see at night, I couldn’t see well anything… even with correction.  I cancelled trips & I never went out.  Which is not typical of a 32 year old.

This surgery was very expensive for me, when it is all said and done I had to pay 10k out of pocket for this treatment, but seeing the difference it was worth the debt I have accumulated and well it taught me that no matter what I HAVE TO GET BETTER ABOUT SAVING.

SO get regular check ups people believe me they are necessary and furthermore start saving money you never know when you will need money for an unexpected procedure.

So here comes the fun story part.

Yesterday I arrive for surgery, I was nervous. Very nervous, I was thinking about the warning I received from the doctor. There is a chance that your vision will not improve, I need you to understand that.

I kept replaying that in my head. MY vision is already garbage but can it really get worse??? what if it gets worse. I will never get to do anything because I can barely do my job now. I can barely see at work and I am performing at a very low capacity. I kept replaying these thoughts over and over.  OMG what if I loose my job and never make it China.

I got called back and they laid be down to hook me up to a heart monitor, then it was time for the IV.

Here is a fun fact about Jen

I am scared of needles. Very scared. I told myself don’t look it will be ok don’t look.

Then I started thinking omg there is a needle in my hand…

and then I blacked out.

Yep, I am surrounded by old people that are more likely to have health conditions, and I blacked out. They called the doctor out and all I could remember is him rubbing my feet telling me to stay with him it will be ok. The nurse saying I need to take a pregnancy test and me talking about Jeremy Renner.

Yes in my near passed out state I talked about Jeremy Renner.

Once a fangirl….

I am pretty sure I was a sight for sore eyes.

Finally I stopped seeing spots and the nurse said that since I am of child bearing age apparently I have to take a pregnancy test.

“Uh shouldn’t I have done that before you hooked me up to this machine and stuck an IV in me?” I asked.

I was scared we were going to have to start the whole process over and under NO circumstances was I going to let them stick me with another needle.  That IV was in my hand and that is where it was going to stay.

“Sorry, but you are the first patient we have had at child bearing age in here.”

I am pretty sure my mouth dropped. I mean I get that cataracts are typically found in elderly people but seriously… .

“Do you know how to take a pregnancy test?” The nurse then asked.

I laughed. She couldn’t be serious, but I was like umm sure. I know. (story for another time I suspect)

She then laughed and said sorry but I have never had to take one or ask a patient to take one.

“I told her I would go take it but they are not taking the IV out of me because I am not going to go through this whole passing out thing again. She said sure and I went and did my business.  Yes I washed my hands and THAT was a challenge in it’s own right.

IT was negative for you nosey people out there.

Afterwards I sat back down and it was time to start the eye dilation and to mildly sedate me because of the lens I chose they couldn’t knock me out I needed to be semi aware of what was going on during the procedure.

My anesthesiologist just got back from Scotland and had traveled to Antigua so we talked about language school in Guatemala and how America needs to get with the program on giving more time for extended vacations.  I had to keep getting medication because my eyes wouldn’t dilate.   I was seriously going for the most difficult patient award. 

The nurse then came out and was like so Jeremy Renner… he is a doll, I just googled him I had no clue who he was.

yeah about that…

So I had to take medication before I arrived to the surgery center, I was food deprived and stuck with a needles resulting in blacking out…. so what does that equal.

Me talking about meeting Jeremy Renner at comicpalooza and that I need to be able to see him without it being blurry, because he is sexy.  SO they needed to tell the doctor not to slip, cause I am not missing my chance with Jeremy….

I then proceeded to tell them the reasons I find him sexy.

Seriously I think I need professional help.

After I was all good and doped up it was time to take me back.

The surgery was a blur but it was fast.  Pretty much all I remember is feeling like my eye was being flushed with water throughout the procedure and seeing these black shapes that I was told to focus on.

Then I was done.  Pretty sure it lasted more than 5 minutes but less than 10 minutes.

The doctor told me to sit up and my first words?

“Oh my god I can see your face doc and seriously I can see the clock and oh my god, I am going to be able to see Jeremy Renner.”

Yep there you have it people, this is what happens when you take a fangirl to surgery and give her drugs.

Also for those of you that are “young” with cataracts, don’t put the surgery off.  It is painless and breezy.  The hardest part was the IV but only cause I have serious issues with needles.

Today I had a follow up and it looks like my right eye will end up being corrected to 20/20 or close to it.

So one surgery down and one to go… can’t wait to see what happens at the next one.

10 Countries I would like to visit before I turn 35

The beauty of not having anything to do but prepare for an upcoming surgery is I get to think about what I want to d when the surgery is complete.   The other day I posed the question, if you could pick any country you can travel to next where would it be?

I received a lot of responses,most responded France, Italy & Ireland.  I did get a couple of unique countries… Namibia… Ghana,,, Turkey..

SO I started thinking about what would I choose, and me being me, couldn’t choose just one.   So I posed the question to my girl Ashley…. If money & time was not an issue what 10 countries would you visit before 35?

One of my biggest goals is to make it to 40 countries before I turn 40.  So far I have spent time in 6, 7 if you count my country:  The United States, The Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica and Guatemala.

I still have 33 countries to go, so again I started pondering the question I proposed to Ashley.

If I could travel to 10 countries before I turned 35, what countries would I choose?

Wow this was a very difficult questions, but I came up with my answers.

So without further ado, I share my 10 countries I would like to visit before I turn 35.

1.  China-  My desire to visit China runs deep, I was supposed to go in 2011 and didn’t.  That is a decision that will soon be rectified (hopefully next year).  The ancient history, the people, the beautiful script, the chaos.. .I can think of a million reasons I want to go to China.  So I need to make this happen and soon.

Photo Credit: Destination360
Photo Credit: Destination360


2. Sri Lanka.  This is a newer development as far as countries I want to go to and by new I mean my desire to go to Sri Lanka is only about 4 years old.   Sri Lanka in my mind is exotic, it is in the middle of no where and every photo I have seen of the country deepens my desire to travel there.  This is a country that I would love to spend a week restoring temples and then a week traveling.    I feel there is so much to learn form this tiny country and I really hope I make it before I am 35.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

3. The United Kingdom (yes I know it is multiple countries).  I have my perfect dream trip already planned for travel time around the UK.  All I need is two weeks to hit the highlights, and then when I go back I can explore the villages and country side more in depth.  Realistically I need a lifetime, but as I am a cubicle junkie the best I can hope for is 2 weeks.   I feel realistically I can hit the UK before I turn 35 and I really hope I get to have my “dream” trip.

River Thames and Tower Bridge at Dusk, London, England
Photo Credit:


4. Norway.  I was so excited to go this past February, right around the exact time I found out I was going to need a very pricey eye surgery.  Plus I constantly joke that the Norwegians are my people, because I am very pale and I have gray eyes.  So I feel it is time I go and visit my people.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

5. Ecuador.   I was supposed to spend two weeks in Ecuador at the beginning of April but thanks to that pesky surgery that costs a quarter of my annual income I had to put this on the back burner.  That being said  this trip is back on the schedule for next week and I really can’t wait to visit this biological diverse country.

Photo Creidt:
Photo Creidt:

6. Costa Rica-   I am getting really close to finishing up my tour of Central America, I am down to the final three countries. When I decided I wanted to visit Central America I really thought this would be the first country I would visit in the region, not Honduras.  My dream is to see the sea turtles in Costa Rica, so my timing will have to be just right, but I am pretty lucky when it comes to timing, so let’s hope my luck runs true when I visit.  This is another location I feel is very likely I will get to visit before I turn 35.

7. South Africa.  I think I am finally ready to experience Africa.  This is a destination that I have always been slightly wary, because I was scared.  I think now I am ready to visit, and I think South Africa is where I want to visit first.  I have no doubt I will fall in love with the country.  Plus come on they have great whites and penguins.  That is freaking awesome.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

8. Australia-  I don’t really feel this country needs any explanation as to why I want to visit, and if my plan goes according to plan, I am hoping I will visit this country ON my 35th birthday.   We will see knowing me I can change my mind and end up in Ghana.

Photo Credit: Wikpedia
Photo Credit: Wikpedia

9. Peru.   Hiking the Inca Trail is either my number 1 or number 2 bucket list item (depending on the day) this is a huge and I do mean huge dream of mine.   This trades back and forth with visiting China.  If I play my cards right, I might actually tackle this… and soon.    This is something I feel I MUST do while I am young.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

10. Canada.  Sitting here writing this post I am baffled I have not made it to Canada.  Sure it is pretty far from Texas which is why I have been to Mexico a dozen times, but it is not like getting to Canada is difficult.  I really hope to make it to Canada soon, maybe even this year?

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

So there you have it, 10 countries I would like to visit before I am 35.  Where would you like to visit?  Have you been to these countries??? Let me know in the comments below!

Storm Front

Country Set in: United States, Texas
Summary: As leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

When it comes to books set in Texas, I am pretty picky. I hate when authors make “assumptions about Texas and wing the setting. Clearly this author has lived in Houston or did her research. She even nailed directions and highways. I lived in Houston for 10 years, and it is a city I do hold near and dear to my heart, so I would have been a little sensitive if she assumed it was all farmland (yes it has happened, I kid you not)

This book was a fun, fast read that I enjoyed from beginning to end. This is a paranormal romance which is not everyone’s cup of tea, but clearly this book is for me. I looked for book 2, but can’t seem to find it.

The Characters– I loved both Kell and Mori, and I liked how Kell was human. Typically the man is always the supernatural one, so this was a refreshing twist on the genre.

I found this book action packed with a little steam, and this book did get major bonus points for nailing the city that I hold near and dear to my heart.

Wordless Wednesday