I Get Zapped

I can take a little pain
I can hold it pretty well


Painful spine came from here

Lately, I’ve been getting zapped.

Not this kind of “Zapped!” No, I’m talking about the sensation I get from my beloved portable TENS unit. Yes! Thanks to chronic back pain, I get my own little magic zapping machine. All I have to do is stick the pads to the ouchy parts, crank up the electricity, and ZAP! Pain messages are stopped dead in their tracks. ZAP! Pain-killing endorphins are released. ZAP! I pop a few Vicodin anyway, just to be safe.

I was a little nervous at first, when it came to trying out my TENS unit. What if I electrocuted myself? The damn thing just showed up one day in the mail; how do I know it’s safe?

Luckily, I was able to test the unit.


Pru didn’t seem to experience any adverse effects. She frequently howls like that. And her fur was probably standing up because she was cold. Also, aren’t cats supposed to twitch and run around in circles for hours?

And she ALWAYS sits in the wastebasket. It’s not like she’s hiding from me or anything.



Hey, guess what else? I got an award! My position on awards has been kind of wishy-washy. I accept them gladly, but then I don’t follow the rules. Because I’m a rebel. A lazy rebel. I have an awards page, but I decided I’d publicly acknowledge this one AND pass it on to some deserving bloggers.

So thanks very much to Kathcom from Magick Sandwich for the Superior Scribbler Award, the backstory of which you can read at The Scholastic Scribe.


absepa from Nerd in the Corner. She just celebrated her blog’s 1st birthday yesterday, so go on over for some stale cake and funny stories. I want absepa to have this award because I know, like all good bloggers, she gets discouraged from time to time, but she keeps plugging away and writing high-quality, entertaining posts. Here’s to many more bloggie birthdays!

Kathryn from From the Inside . . . Out. Kathryn wins because she sends me all her Thai porn (to be explained later, much to your disgust). Now that may make her sound kind of slutty, but she’s totally NOT. She’s a nice girl who writes a damn fine blog AND is a writer by profession. Go on and visit her. Just bring your own wine (and porn).

Tracy from I Hate My Messageboard. Tracy wins solely on the basis of this eggroll recipe, which can be found in her hilarious Museum of Snack Foods, WHERE, incidentally, she totally scooped me on the whole chicken in a can phenomenon.

Mason from MasonMania. Mason is a sock puppet. A talking sock puppet. It’s a thin line between stupid and funny, but Mason walks it with just the right sense of silliness and killer timing. His vlogs are short, too, so no excuses.

Puglette from Puglette Ponders. I just love Puglette. She is one of those rare sweet people who is naturally and sincerely nice. I mean it! She is a sweetheart, and her blog has cupcakes on it and is all about her two adorable pugs, Ollie and Charlie. I’m hoping this award will distract her while I go kidnap Ollie.


And with this, I hereby officially retire from accepting awards. Show your love in other ways. Such as? Well, I do like money, Vicodin, and sushi. I might also need a new cat.

Oh, Prudence . . .

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44 Responses to “I Get Zapped”

  1. 1 Tracy

    You know, people think it’s cute when you safety test things on your cats before using it yourself, but try doing it on your kids and all heck breaks loose.

  2. 2 Barb - WillThink4Wine

    Back pain is the worst, isn’t it? And knee pain, and migraines… Wait, this isn’t about me, is it? I don’t do awards either. Just throw money at me, that would be swell! :P

  3. 3 babs - beetle

    It only counts as cruel if a cat hangs off the ceiling by it’s claws with eyes glowing red and spinning wildly. Aside from that all’s fair in testing out stuff we are a tad scared of ;) Congratulations on the award.

  4. 4 absepa

    Aw, thanks for the award…I’m so touched! I will get to work following The Scholastic Scribe’s instructions for passing it on this evening. You rock, JD!

    I love that “what the fudge?!” look on Prudence’s face in the first photo.

  5. 5 Daisy the Curly Cat

    Poor Pru! I feel so sorry for her, because she really wanted Ultrasound therapy instead of the TENS unit.

    One time, Pixie had to wear an Event Monitor for a week. It was about as big as a pack of cards strapped to her back, connected with wires to electrodes on her chest, and the whole thing was wrapped with tape. We were supposed to press the “record” button on the top of her back whenever she had one of her syncopal events. Well, of course the whole contraption started beeping every 60 seconds on a Sunday afternoon. Turns out the batteries went dead and we had to visit during emergency hours to have the entire thing taken off, batteries changed and wrapped back up.

  6. 6 CatLadyLarew

    Wow! You actually get to electrocute yourself of a regular basis? I have to go all the way to the chiropractor to get electrocuted.
    So, what happens if you scribble while you’re being electrocuted? Is that what it takes to be a superior scribbler? Congratulations to you and condolences to Prudence!

  7. 7 Stephanie B

    You realize, of course, that you’d have to shave Pru to have an accurate test. I don’t recommend it.

    I hope the electroshock therapy works on your back pain. Chronic pain of any kind is no joke, no fun, and can bleed the joy out of day to day living. I so hope this can be corrected.

    Congrats on the award. I’m not amazed you received it, just that it took so long.

  8. 8 Bingo

    Ha ha Prudence looks worried in the picture but I’m sure she is ok now. I love sushi too, I think that would be a cool gift.

  9. 9 Grace

    I know back pain – no one ever suggested that particular remedy. (Stumped here for a funny comment – but had to say something lest you think I wasn’t here)

  10. 10 C.B. Jones

    This gives me an idea. I might start a business that sells portable speakers that you attach to animals. How much do you want for your cat?

    He will be re-branded, and become known as BoomBox Kat(B2K).

  11. 11 Anne

    I used to get that in physical therapy and I loved it! It definitely sounds scary until you try it and it makes the pain stop (although Vicodin is good too).

    I am even worse about awards. I receive them and say thank you, but never actually remember to post about them. I don’t even list them on an awards page. I am just lame :(.

  12. 12 Canucklehead

    I agree with Stephanie B, you really should shave the puss ….
    Actually, forget it brought it up – in fact, I was never here!

    /really was here

  13. 13 Kathryn

    Greetings and thank you, JD! I appreciate your thinking of me and throwing me a Scholastic shout-out. I accept it with pride and know I’m in good company.
    That said…I can’t believe no-one’s screaming at you to put the disclaimer “no actual felines were injured during the making of this blog”. Don’t they require that?? Or, are you simply above it?
    I do believe all that Thai porn has deadened your ability to have empathy. We’ll need to explore this in therapy. Please bring the vicoden with you.
    Thanks again!

  14. 14 Puglette

    OMG! what a nice thing to say about me…i am totally blushing! thank you so much, that means a lot to me. i will definitely post it on my blog, but i am horrible about following directions. see, not so nice after all. ;o)

    ok, now about the tens unit…hubby has one and he hates it. i tried it on my arm, ouchie! he has constant lower back pain from a ruptured disc and the two surgeries he had. his first surgery was to shave off part of the disc that had popped out (eww) and he went back to work too soon and slipped and fell. six months later, surgery #2 for “instrumentation”. a bunch of screws and a little cage filled with bone matter scraped from his hip bone. this kept him at home for two months.

    he’s also had shots of some sort of stuff up his spine, done with an xray machine so they can get the teeny tiny needle up the hole in the bottom of his spine. three of those.

    and no vicodin…not one since the surgeries!! he does take tramadol and has had other stuff too that doesn’t really work.

    he’s a truck driver, transporting cars around the puget sound. lots of in and out of the truck, lots of heavy lifting, lots of bending. i think that’s why he never gets the good pills, truck drivers on drugs are frowned upon.

    i only wished the tens unit worked for him…but he dislikes it and the sticky gel pads and getting all wired up.

    oh..and you may borrow ollie anytime, but you may not steal him. who would warm my back at night?

  15. 15 JD

    Tracy: Sigh. People are so stupid. Don’t they realize how durable kids are? Really, much more durable than cats . . . as I have discovered.

    Barb – WillThink4Wine: Oh, it can be about you—it’s your comment, after all! Maybe you need a TENS unit. Just be sure you test it on someone else first.

    babs – beetle: Yes, exactly. And I can assure you all that Pru was nowhere near the ceiling.

    absepa: You’re very welcome! I am more than happy to pass this along to you. And, yeah: Pru’s face says it all. She had been sleeping soundly, only to awaken to find herself covered in wires.

    Daisy the Curly Cat: I know! Poor Pru. But that was all I had on hand. And poor Pixie. AND poor Pixie’s family, having to deal with all that beeping and hassle. Did it ever record what it was supposed to?

    CatLadyLarew: Oh, Pru is fine. But thank you for the congrats. I used to see a chiropractor, too, and sometimes got zapped there. It was my favorite part. I often scribble while being electrocuted, but so far nothing really brilliant has ever resulted.

    Stephanie B: Thanks for reminding me! Oh, Pru . . . come here, please. Snip, snip, snip. Yes, this little doohickey does help with the pain a lot, thank you. You’ve been such a great supporter during all this pain stuff. I appreciate it.

    Bingo: Pru is fine. And she even got some sushi as a reward. I just hope she doesn’t expect sushi EVERY time I need to test something on her.

    Grace: No need to be funny! Just having you pop in and say hello is quite enough. Ask your doctor about a TENS unit. It might help.

    C.B. Jones: Hmmm. It’s tempting but my cat is not for sale. She’s far too valuable for my own research and experimentation. I do love the idea of a BoomBox Kat, tho. I might be interested in investing.

    Anne: It’s amazing that it actually works. And I remember when I used to have it done in a doc’s office, they’d crank it WAY up, until my muscles twitched and jerked. You’re not supposed to do that, I found out later. This is actually the first award I’ve posted about in a long time. I always say thank you but never do all the stuff you’re supposed to. But this is officially my last award, so I figured I’d do it up right.

    Canucklehead: Too late! I already shaved her. Well, just the four spots where I need to apply the patches. I’m sure her fur will grow back in just fine.

    Kathryn: You are so welcome, my dear BFFBB! I think everyone here knows I am above making such disclaimers, unless those disclaimers have to do with Thai porn. Which makes no sense. Has our therapy session started yet? I may need more Vicodin.

    Puglette: Don’t worry about following the rules. I deliberately left out the part that says “the winners must choose five people, blah, blah, blah. . . ” so it’s up to you to do whatever you like. That’s the I Do Things way! Wow, I’m sitting here going, ouch, ouch, ouch, reading about your poor husband’s back problems. Yikes. That job has GOT to be so hard on his back. I’m sorry he doesn’t like the TENS unit; I suppose it’s not for everyone. I hope he’s able to get some relief from the Tramadol. Would he ever do massage or chiropractic?

    (OK, I won’t keep Ollie. But I’d love to have him come over for a play date with Gus and Pru. The play date would actually just consist of me snuggling him and kissing him, tho.)

  16. 16 Puglette

    ollie would love a play date with gus and pru! he would chase them and roll them over until they got high enough so he could no longer reach them. he is a really good snuggler and kisser, you can ask for kisses and he happily obliges. you can pick him up and hold him like a baby, he lays his little head against you and looks up with his big brown, liquid eyes. he also makes the funniest groaning, grunting noises when you hold him, or when he lays on the bed. he’s a sweetheart!
    thanks again!

  17. 17 Jay

    Hahahaha! Poor Pru! Actually, I have a Tens machine too, and it feels rather nice, doesn’t it? Not as nice as acupuncture though – that feels really nice!

    I’ll check out your linkies tomorrow. It’s late, and I’m going to bed. ;)

  18. 18 DrowseyMonkey

    Oh yes, cats are good for that sort of thing ;)

    I had one of those zappy things – loved it til I dropped it one day and broke it. dang.

  19. 19 Lola

    Damn! You are so lucky! My insurance wouldn’t pay for a TENS unit for home and I could really use one right now. I picked up a very lightweight vacuum, (apparently my bad back didn’t think it was lightweight) and now I’ve got terrible shooting back pain in a different spot on my back. I spent most of today lying down. If it’s not better by tomorrow I’m going to have to go to the doctor and get some vic.

  20. 20 Florida Girl In Sydney

    My husband has a TENS machine, he never uses it– though he’s really good at complaining about his back. He has Degenerative Disc Disease– have you been tested for that? It’s something about the fluid and blah blah blah. Back pain is the worst. My husband had never missed a day of work for 12 years that I knew him, then he hurt his back and stayed in bed for 2 weeks, it was awful– for both of us :).

  21. 21 Patty

    As I explore your blog, we have more and more in common! (BTW, I love your old entries and look forward to the new ones with an-tic-a-pation (sing this like the old soda commercial and imagine a delicious beverage being poured upon too-beautiful-to-be-real cubes of ice.)
    In any case, I have chronic back pain as well and have a TENS unit, too. It’s a lifesaver for when I feel like gnawing my head off my back (Dunno how that’d work, but that’s the feeling, no?) Just make good and sure it’s off before you take off the stickers, holy cow, it makes you feel like a cross between sticking a fork in an outlet and needing desperately to pee your pants. On the bright side, you wouldn’t have to curl your hair for awhile.
    I really hope it helps and hey, there’s always ‘the vic’ for emergencies!

  22. 22 Jenn Thorson

    If you need a new cat, I guess you forgot to show us the final scene, where Pru looks like that angora fried under the chair in Christmas Vacation. :)

  23. 23 Pricilla

    Are you sure Pru just didn’t want a massage?

    My brother has one too but his is implanted. He has to get the batteries changed every 4 years or so so they have to operate again. Ick!

  24. 24 JD

    Puglette: Oh, you’re KILLING me! That description of Ollie . . . oh, how badly I wish to gently squeeze and kiss him. And hold him like a baby! I guess for now all I can do is gaze lovingly at my picture (and kiss it when no one’s looking).

    Jay: I’ve had some hit-or-miss experiences with acupuncture. Sometimes I’ve gotten very good results and sometimes . . . nothing. I prefer a deep-tissue massage if I’m going to be lying on a table in an office. But if I can’t have that every day, at least I have my TENS.

    DroweyMonkey: Oh, dang INDEED! Can you get a new one? I’d die without mine, I think.

    Lola: I’m sorry. I think everyone should have their own TENS unit. My old insurance wouldn’t pay for it, and I had to return it after getting all used to it. Then our insurance changed, and the first thing I did was call the TENS unit people. GIMME! I’m so sorry you’re in pain. Let me know how you’re doing. Better today, I hope?

    Florida Girl In Sydney: No, I’ve never been tested for the dreaded DDD, but I’ve heard of it, and I know it can be quite painful I wouldn’t be surprised if I have some degeneration back there—with scoliosis, you get all kinds of weird stuff going on. Poor Floriday Guy In Sydney! Tell him to use that TENS unit. It might help!

    Patty: Oh, you’re so nice! I’m sorry we have back pain in common, but am glad you get some relief from your delicious TENS unit. It IS a lifesaver. And, yeah, I’ve done the “touch the pad without turning off the unit” thing and it is NOT a pleasant sensation. You only do it once, tho, right?!

    Jenn Thorson: If I showed you the “after” picture of Pru, I’d REALLY have some people up in arms!

    Pricilla: Ooh. Implanted? I’ve never heard of that. I’m sorry he has to have surgery. Yikes. I hope it helps him, tho. Whenever I try to massage Pru, she bites me, so I really thought she might benefit from some electrocution.

  25. 25 Roschelle

    Back pain is a bummer :(…. Glad to know that Prudence was a real sport acting as guinea pig for ya. She’s gorgeous BTW

  26. 26 Maureen

    OOoooh, I LOVED it when the physio used TENS on my neck after a car accident. I cranked that sucker up to max.

    I never thought about getting one for my own use; you are right, it would be handy to have on hand, especially when I wake up with a stiff neck some days!

  27. 27 Regan

    Hm, yeah. I don’t think it’s unusual at all Pru ran in circles twitching. Isn’t that what all cats do? Or wait, was that mice…?

    But I think I have a theory about this so called ‘Thai porn’.
    I think it’s actually Thai food that looks really good. You know, like that website foodporn.com. They have a bunch of pictures of donuts and stuff.

  28. 28 Kirk

    sorry to hear you have chronic back pain.. a relative had it and i saw how difficult it made his life for the longest time… he’d gone through several kinds of therapies before his doctor advised to have his back operated on.. right now he’s doing great and got back to doing activities that could potentially hurt his back again…

    hope your back gets better, so pru won’t have to be tested on with whatever zapper equipment you might have to buy next time, i have a feeling pru will exact revenge on that little magic machine of yours…

    btw! what an oddly handsome looking pug that is.. aren’t pugs supposed to have wrinkly mugs? and congratulations on that award!

  29. 29 Lin

    Oh, I had one of those tens units back when I had my bunion surgery–I loved that thing. But I didn’t allow the cats to use it, no matter how much they begged. You spoil your cat too much.

  30. 30 NaTuRaL

    well you know i have a TENS unit and we get down with the get down. i don’t know what that means, i think we sleep together or something and one of us gets turned on.

    i used mine maybe two weeks ago because well because i was in pain. it feels nice, doesn’t it. crank it up just enough before it starts to hurt. i keep mine on constant vibration, i mean ur um, humming? i can’t think of a word right now, but the electrodes don’t get to rest. yeah that’s it. i’m a slave driver.

    i can’t remember what happened to your back. me? i was dropped on my head.

  31. 31 Muskrat

    Is it permanent? I see these things get suggested in my law practice for folks with bad workplace injuries. Insurance adjusters never want to pay for them. Hope it helps and doesn’t have to be there forever!

  32. 32 georgie

    I so need one of those machines…you didnt really zap that cute kitty cat did you LOL

    Congrats on your award I feel the same way you do about awards

  33. 33 JD

    Roschelle: Aw, thank you. Prudence loooooves to be praised. Almost as much as she loves being experimented on!

    Maureen: I used to crank it up, too, then I read it’s not good to do that. But it feels good, doesn’t it?! Yes, definitely ask your doctor. It’s probably saving me from serious Vicodin addiction.

    Regan: I cringed a little before reading your take on Thai porn, but . . . you’re right! Sometimes when food looks so delicious you can’t stand it, it’s referred to as food porn. So that’s what THIS is. Yes. Food. Thank you.

    Kirk: Thank you! I’m hoping to avoid surgery, but then I hear about success stories like your relative, and I wonder . . . It would probably be better for Pru if I didn’t have to experiment on her so often, tho, so perhaps I should consider it. Isn’t Ollie an EXCEPTIONALLY handsome (I would say “beautiful,” but I am a girl) pug? His brother Charlie is just as handsome.

    Lin: You’re right. PRU! I’m not listening to you anymore. This is not a toy! It’s an expensive medical thingy. No more zapping for you! (Bunion, eh? Interesting. Mine has all different settings, but I only ever use it on my back.)

    NaTuRaL: (You write your name that way just to drive me crazy, right?) OK. HAHAHAHA! I know what it means, all right. Yes, we have those sessions too. I should really think of a name for mine—we are just that intimate. I was dropped on my head too but even before that I was born with a curvy spine. So that kinda messed me up for life. Thank God for TENS. And Vicodin.

    Muskrat: YES! Permanent! I hope so, anyway. I mean, I hope they let me keep it forever. I had one before this one, thinking that my insurance covered it; after a month found out they DIDN’T and had to send it back. I cried for weeks. Then our insurance changed, and it’s covered. In fact, I own mine now, so no one’s taking it away EVER EVER EVER!

    georgie: No, please rest assured: Pru only suffered the indignity of having those patches stuck to her. And they’d been used so many times they weren’t even sticky. Thanks for the congrats!

  34. 34 natural

    darn i am so busted. uh yes, JD, i do write my name like that on purpose but not to drive you crazy, but to see if you will reply the way i type it. i noticed that you reply to people the way they type their name. i admire that actually and i was testing you too – you never fail either. darn you’re good. but please, all lowercase will be just fine no matter how i type it. it just so happens that wordpress remembers.

    now if i could get my letters to appear upside down, i would. and that would be to drive you crazy. i’m the devil.

  35. 35 natural

    oh, sorry about your back sister. if you have to take pills and the TENS, that must be bad. i do have days of relief and don’t have to pop pills often. advil works for me.

  36. 36 dcr

    OMG. You’re a Cylon! Shouldn’t have put up a picture of your red glowing spine and no one would ever have known. Okay, no one else but me noticed anyway, but now the word is out. You’ve been exposed as a toaster!

    But now your Vicodin comment makes sense…

  37. 37 JC

    Well, thanks so much for getting zap so I don’t have to. It doesn’t sound pleasant. Congrats on the new award, well deserved.

  38. 38 JD

    natural: HA! I knew it. And kudos to your observational powers. Yes, I pride myself on always trying to use the exact spelling of whatever name is provided, no matter how kooky the style may be. If you can do upside-down letters, I take my hat off to you and admit defeat. Ah, yes. I remember when Advil used to work for me. I hope it continues to work, along with your TENS.

    dcr: Uh oh. And here I don’t even know what a Cylon is! Is it a Star Trek thing? Honestly, I don’t think my spine really glows, but then I’ve never looked at it in the dark.

    JC: Oh, but it is very pleasant! Pru may not think so, but I do. And thank you. It was a nice award to receive.

  39. 39 Jen

    We have a neighbor boy we test things like that on. As a test patient we learned that even though the dog does not react to the barking collar it is still sending off a powerful charge and the neighbor boy will never bark again.

    Thanks for listing the many blogs you listed. They are all great blogs and worthy of an award. Also, thanks for not giving me one since I rebel against them as much as you, though I am completely flattered, and somewhat perplexed, when I do get one.

  40. 40 Patty

    Another post on this subject, but I saw you have scoliosis as well–I had surgery for it when I was in my teens. Did you do the brace as a child? Mine could attract the fuzzy television stations: “Move a little to the right, we want to watch The Snorks!”

    And mine warns not to place it ‘on or near the trigeminal nerve if you have a history of herpes zoster induced trigeminal neuralgia.’

    So uh…don’t do that if you have that, okay? We worry about you.

  41. 41 JD

    Jen: Hmmm. Is this neighbor boy available? We have some noisy dogs in our neighborhood. Yes, I’m always grateful when I receive an award, but there are many, many other bloggers out there who deserve recognition. Let’s recognize them!

    Patty: YES! I totally wore a Milwaukee brace for four years. I was never told about the trigeminal nerve, but then I have no history of herpes zoster (EW!), so hopefully I’m OK. Thanks for the warning.

  42. 42 Bingo

    I hope you are feeling better and Pru is not addict to the ten units:)

  43. 43 Schliessfach

    If you can do upside-down letters, I take my hat off to you and admit defeat. I should really think of a name for mine—we are just that intimate. I was dropped on my head too but even before that I was born with a curvy spinde. It was my favorite part.

  44. 44 JD

    Bingo: Thank you. As far as I know, Pru is not addicted. But you can just never tell with kittens.

    Schliessfach: Was your curvy “spinde” your favorite part BEFORE you got dropped on your head or after? Because it does make a difference.


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