Posts Tagged ‘epidural’

Boycotting myself…

Update:  As awful as this will sound, it’s stories like this that lift my spirits.  No, breaking and entering doesn’t deserve a death sentence but the fact remains – had he decided to be a law-abiding citizen and not tried to steal from other people he would be alive today.

Columbus police Sgt. Steven Little tells The Columbus Dispatch investigators believe the man broke a window to enter the apartment and severed an artery on his arm in the process.

Little says the apparent intruder “sat down on the floor and bled to death.” Police believe the man died Sunday or Monday, when the body was found.

If more people cut themselves and bled to death while committing a crime there would be a lot less crime.

As veeshir noted a few days ago, I seem to be boycotting my own blog, which he heartily approves of.

Perhaps “boycotting my own blog” is not the proper terminology.

As you know, I haven’t been doing so very hot physically and I’ve been working these ridiculous hours while also traveling.

Just two hours ago I got done with the second epidural in three weeks.

They asked to set up another appointment for a third epidural in four weeks, but… and this “but” is a doozy… but, if I don’t see any improvement by one week from today I am to go to a surgeon.  It looks like the newest of the symptoms – a burning sensation where there was pain and numbness in my left thumb and forefinger means that if the epidural doesn’t work then it’s a sign of things that need more aggressive treatment.

It probably means the hack-n-slash surgery, not the laser kind, and it freaks me out a bit.


Difficulty in finding work may scar young Americans?  I prefer to think that adversity encourages personal growth but it can never be that if one looks at it as a life-altering negative.

Teenagers hung out on street corners and on the steps of boarded-up buildings in impoverished downtown Newburgh one blisteringly hot August day this year.

With the economy still in the doldrums and government summer work programs losing funding, there was little for them to do in this town about 60 miles north of New York City.

They were not alone: It was the worst summer on record for U.S. teenagers seeking work, delaying millions of young Americans’ entry into the labor force and creating a generation that history suggests may be scarred by the experience.

Cruel Wife and I were both out of work for eight months (at different times) and I think I can say that we both grew as a result.  Yes it was tough.  Scarred, though?

This chaps my ‘nads:

“There’s also the social aspect: You’re suggesting to them they are not worth that much, when at 19 they can’t even get crummy jobs.”

Tim Barnicle, a former assistant secretary of labor in the Clinton administration

There are wider consequences too: a lack of morale may sap energy out of the generation on whose shoulders the burden of paying for the retirements of the baby boomers will lie.

Hey, I thought Social Security was where we paid for our own retirements?  :-7

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In my neck of the woods…

Last night was just the diagnostic, really.

After lots of sweaty broken sleep and trying to stay in bed, I really did try, I got up around 10AM.  Half-crap dozing until 4am but not sleep as we normally know it, and then solid sleep until 7:30 or so, and then full-crap sleep until 10AM.

You know that when your sleep starts feeling timeless like when you are in a hospital it is time to get the diddley-f*ck right out of bed, right nowAnd it was.  So I did.

I still feel like canned-creamed sh*t.  Yes, the anesthetic they put in last night helped immediately afterwards, and it was really trailing off around 11pm.  But now… holy f*ck.  It should calm down in a day or two though.
What I’m saying is that even this process is just a bandaid, not the cure, which is to remove a disc or perhaps two. Doc said there were three that were problematic.

Can you imagine the epidurals and discectomies hundreds and thousands of years ago when they didn’t have readily available painkillers?  (**eyeroll here**)

And even tho I’m whining this really isn’t worse than the bad days at the lab, and I go 8-12 hours there at times even when I’m bad off.  This is a different kind of pain though.

Hey, that would be interesting – pain is one of those things that is VERY hard to describe or quantify.  If you have one that you can only describe using far-out descriptors, say ’em here.

I’ll start: The other day the bad disc area in my neck ached so bad that it felt like it was being turned inside out.   See what I mean?  What the hell does that mean, really?  But to me, that is exactly what it felt like.

Now, it feels like a series of infinitely sharp serrated scalpels are doing the jaws of life in that part of my neck.  Very sharp, very bright.  It’s a bright “twinkling star on a freezing winter night” kind of pain.

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Neck Update, Part 637.

Saw the nurse practitioner who works with the pain doc yesterday.

MRI does show a bulged disc at C4-5 that is pressing on nerves. First thing to try is a higher-risk epidural, next month, so see if that provides some short-term relief.

Second thing to try is an endoscopic discectomy (I think I got that one right).  The NP looked at me and said “I won’t lie to you, it hurts like hell”. What the hell does that mean, exactly?  Pain is really really subjective.  I am like the guy from XKCD below…

Imagined Pain.

How long?  Two to three weeks of extreme pain.

Huh. Well, by now I’ve developed a healthy fear of pain and am kind of spooked by the idea but at the same time I don’t feel like I’ve got a choice – what this is like now is not really living.  When you are afraid of moving your head the wrong way, deathly afraid of sneezing, and are using a cane or walking stick to keep your balance, rest your head on when standing still, and to keep from bouncing around as you walk you probably need to do something.

If only there was a way to map “hurts like hell” onto my pain scale.  Ten for me is a compound fracture.  I’ve gone to the hospital twice for nines that went on for hours.  But what if the NP’s “hurts like hell” works out to a new measurement’s “10”?  How do I know in advance?  Or could it be that I’ll get there and say “Oh, this is how I feel after a long day in the lab anyway”?

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ANOTHER apology that wasn’t.  This time from the racist quota individual Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) regarding an officer shooting another officer in Harlem:

In a released statement, the congressman said “It was entirely inappropriate to bring the President and his wife into this discussion during their visit to New York, and I hope my off-the-cuff comment did not cause embarrassment to anyone.”

“The tragic shooting of Officer Omar Edwards highlights the need for additional training of our police officers, and I am pleased that Commissioner Kelly recognizes a racial factor is involved,” Rangel also said. “I am calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to review the problems in the New York City Police Department when black officers are killed by whites, which too often is the case.”

“I hope my… comment did not cause embarrasment to anyone” is NOT an apology.  It’s just an asshole spouting.  Then to take that time to patronize Commissioner Kelly – great projection of blame there.  THEN to shift future attention to Holder – wow.  This guy is good.


Today was the last of three epidurals.  C7 and T1.  Little low for what seems to have been ailin’ me, but we’ll see if it helps.

As of today itself… meh.  Kinda smarts but that goes with the territory.  I came home and felt like the fecal matter of a particularly ripe canine.  Went to bed for about five hours and got up.  Been worse but I’ve been better by a long shot.  If history is any guide tomorrow won’t be fun either, but it could surprise me.


From The Patriot Post humor…  I’m not laughing much because it actually does point out why John Q. Public (AKA The Piggybank) is going to get broken because of a bunch of greedy people’s bad business decisions.

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers’ freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.
Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.

Now, do you understand?


It’s fairly obvious that GM has done a lot of things wrong, and those things contributed to it’s current state and the dire straits that many of it’s employees find themselves in.  Blame is deserved.  But if you are going to be worth a damn in writing a critique, you ought to be able to say that you aren’t writing it because it’s useful fodder to advance your pet agenda.  Pet agendas can, if you aren’t careful, just make you really look like an asshole.  Not that Michael Moore needed help in looking like an asshole.

Michael Moore – may diseased slugs urinate on his food – doesn’t surprise me at all.  Sayeth the mindless boob:

I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official: General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.

He goes on to ramble about all that he hated about the Evil Corporation (which sounds much like any of his other rants about other Evil Corporations, swapping out only specific names to lend the semblance of applicability.   Up to that point he almost sounded like he cared, but then he takes off the mask:

So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company’s body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with — dare I say it — joy.

Yeah, you read it right.  He’s experiencing joy.  There is nothing to evoke joy here, unless you are an ass.

If you read his writing you could almost think that he cares about GM employees, but he only salts the piece with sympathetic sounding words as he then gets to the real point – slapping himself on the back about Roger and Me and quickly moving on to his particular views of how the Federal Gov’t should be driven by environmentalists – driven to force Americans to participate in breathing life into the Green Vision.

Thing is, I happen to agree with some of what he says.  I think mass transit would be fantastic for commuters from rural areas to the cities.  I think there are lots of things that could be done to minimize pollution.  Trains for hauling cargo and passengers get excellent fuel economy 400 ton-miles per gallon.

Transportation mode Fuel consumption
BTU per short ton mile kJ per tonne kilometre
Class 1 Railroads 341 246
Domestic Waterbourne 510 370
Heavy Trucks 3,357 2,426
Air freight (aprox) 9,600 6,900
Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency_in_transportation

You could write whole books cataloging the ways that the enviromental fruit-bats fantasize that the  Utopian Wet-Dream could be achieved.

Boil it down though.  The government is not supposed to be in the business of building Utopia and the things that we’d like should be supported by economics, not by whatever means of taxation are required to meet the vision.

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This morning dawned bright and cheery, the kids were animated and happy, the birds were singing (I assume, because I can’t hear them), the wife and dog were joyous, and I woke up in a foul black heartless mood.

No, the epidural didn’t give much relief.

It told us something, which is there are spots that aren’t causing pain, exactly, but are binding my neck up.  Other spots are causing pain.  So the 24/7 headache and neckache continue.  Distressing is the arm pain and numbness.

Came in to work to find The Dude wearing a mask and gloves.   The Porcine Flu?  Nope.  Just a cold.  For fun we will either refer to it as the West Ebola Listeria Nile Pox or Porcine Flu.  I tried to tell him that (1) this mask is scary, and (2) it won’t prevent him from being a plague vector.


Freddy Krueger was never this scary.


All the back-slapping going on is going to stop before too long, when the Law of Unintended Consequences rears it’s ugly head.

The Fed Grins.

The self-congratulatory rhetoric will reach a fevered pitch, never acknowledging the horrible price that we have only deferred by all this “too big to fail” talk.  The cows will come home to roost.

No one who has had even peripheral involvement in the housing bubble or it’s travesty of a solution has any right to be proud or exuberant.


Over at Bloomberg, there was a good op-ed:

Writers who are not pro-Barack Obama are suffering character assassination as well. George Will of the Washington Post, the nation’s senior conservative columnist, has been so assaulted by bloggers that his editor, Fred Hiatt, recently wrote, “I would think folks would be eager to engage in the debate, given how sure they are of their case, rather than trying to shut him down.”

It seems that the democrat/liberal viewpoint is “openness and inclusiveness unless you’re dissenting because our stance is well-reasoned and there is no logical alternative”.

Indeed, he closer the Democrats get to total power, the nastier the commentators friendly to them have become.

It really is as if a great wellspring of hatred has been uncapped and is allowed to flow freely now that checks and restraints are (mostly) taken away.

I don’t mind hatred, loathing, disdain… but let’s at least be dignified and civilized.


More spam fun!

Messages waiting for me:

  • Re: Doctor Zulma Ruegsegger discount 68% for…
  • Customer Receipt/Purchase Confirmation
  • What the doctor ordered
  • Re:  SALE 70% OFF on Pfizer
  • Are you on car?

Don’t know a Doctor Zulma, haven’t purchased anything lately, don’t care what the doctor ordered, I don’t shop at Pfizer, and I’m on muscle relaxants and narcotics, not “car”.

Strangely, I sent all those e:mails myself, to myself.

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What I didn’t realize in the last round of cervical epidurals was that the clinic was in “cost-cutting” mode.

Regular stainless steel hypodermic tubing was swapped out in favor of needles made in Pakistan and India out of steel nails.  This wouldn’t have been a problem but the supplier got extra-really-awfully cheap and decided to use used nails.

rustyneedleAs you can imagine, these needles hurt more than the mainstream needles commonly used by most doctor’s offices and most needle-exchange heroin users.


Wavelet transforms of audio files.  Steve Hanov’s website is too cool.  Way way too cool.  Lots of stuff to geek out on.


Click to embiggenify the image


You like being conned?  Well, some of you out there must because y’all voted for Obama.

The southern pole’s Wilkens Ice Shelf was/is a con-job.  I was sent this by a semi-alert but caring individual who while wishing to be un-named bears a suspicious resemblance to The Dude.  It’s last year’s analysis but good points never die.  Here’s a PDF for you…



Don’t know if I’ve ever pointed out musical Shepard Scales, but it’s still cool. Check ’em out.  It’s like optical illusions for your ears.  More like Audible illusions.


It ain’t USB but it is kind of cool in a culinary nerd sort of way.  Thing is, it’s no good unless you’re on a 5 hour road trip… minimum.

Automobile crock pot.


If I had the money to drop on this, I would.  It’s not USB either.

Office Pod.


Keyboard pillow…  THIS is USB.


We’re doomed.

Stupidity isn’t a virus… but it sure is spreadin’ like one! – Sandy Cheeks in SpongeBob Squarepants

What more can be thrown at us?  Global cooling.  Poisoned Tylenol.  AIDS.   Ozone layer gone.  Bad scallions from Mexico.  Global warming.  Hong Kong flu.   SARS.   Meteorite impacts.  Bad tomatoes.  Massive gamma-ray bursts from distant celestial bodies.  Peanut butter.  Global cooling.

Dammit, we’re all gonna die.

Sorry folks but the track record is not a good one.  Problem is, 50, 100, 1000, or even 10,000 people out of a country of 300,000,000 is 0.003%.   That is 1 person in 30,000.    A normal flu season racks up 30,000 deaths.  More people are killed in cars.

Mexico is either having a hard time pegging whether this is the real deal in a vast majority of these cases or it has something to do with their air or water.   Given that this is a crazy world, could it be that there’s a susceptibility if you are of hispanic lineage?

Don’t know, but the cases in the US and many others are showing this to be a mild flu.

The track record of the media is piss-poor.   We can say that much with absolute certainty.


More proof that stupidity is indeed a virus!

Can the media stop performing fellatio long enough to take an unbiased step back and really look at what they are doing?  I doubt it, otherwise Reuters and People Mag wouldn’t be running this crap all the time – People magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People.

Michelle Obama, who has achieved celebrity status and has wowed the world as a fashion icon, made the list for the first time.

“I had a father and a brother who thought I was beautiful, and they made me feel that way every single day,” Obama told the magazine.


“I grew up with very strong male role models who thought I was smart and fast and funny, so I heard that a lot. I know that there are many young girls who don’t hear it. But I was fortunate,” she added.

Also included in a “Barack’s Beauties” section were White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and others.

When you start linking Geithner and Emanuel into the list as well as the First Lady, it’s pretty obvious that you’re oblivious to how ridiculous your behavior is.

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Quick Update:  Arlen Spector announces switch to Dems.

There’s a shocker.  It won’t make a change in how the votes play out because the slimebag has been voting like a flaming libtard for years.


Well, the Acupuncture Chronicles are a thing of the past.

In the face of unrelenting pain, now we move into the Epidural Chronicles.

The pain specialist (new guy) and his nurse practitioner are some of the most up-front straight-shooters I’ve run into yet.  They think they can help me, one way or another.

They’re going to do a run of three cervical epidurals.  Let’s hope these work because the following options are not so rosy – fusing vertebrae.


A question for those who stumble by…

Mexico has the highest number of deaths from Swine Flu.

Two questions:

  1. How many deaths are in Mexico City itself.
  2. How much can Mexico City’s worse-than-the-rest-of-the-world-except-Beijing air quality have a part to play in this


Google Maps tracker for cases of Swine Flu.


I hope the Palm Beach Post folks can forgive me but this guy is a hero and it has to be pointed out.  My condolences to his girlfriend.

Man, 70, drowns saving two boys in rip current

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Sunday, April 26, 2009

POMPANO BEACH — A 70-year-old man drowned in the ocean Saturday while rescuing two young boys who got caught in a rip current and rough surf off Pompano Beach, officials said.

Charles Schulze carried the two boys, ages 9 and 12, almost to shore in the 1200 block of South Ocean Boulevard.

At that point, onlookers jumped into the water, brought the boys onto the sand and checked them over to make sure they were all right.

The boys were fine. But when the beachgoers looked back at the water, they found Schulze floating face-down, Pompano Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King said.

Another man jumped into the water and pulled Schulze to shore. But despite the efforts of some beachgoers who performed CPR, the boys’ rescuer was pronounced dead a short time later at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.

Schulze lived in Pompano Beach and Washington, D.C., according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

His girlfriend witnessed the entire incident, King said.

“He’s a hero,” King said. “He saved the lives of these two boys.”

Is it entirely too much to ask of reporters that since the English language is their business and art, they ought to spell correctly and use proper grammar?

“It’s our responsibility to educate people on what they’re risks are and to encourage them to try to take measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” he said. “Certainly people should stay away from people who are know to be ill, practice good hand hygene, as well as good cough and sneeze etiquette.”

– found on Fox News.com

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