Posts Tagged ‘heart’

Spaces in Between.

Be patient… there’s some formatting issues on this blog due to some wonky code somewhere that I need to fix cut cannot address until tomorrow.  It’s truly hosed but you should always be able to read the most recent post w/o hassle.


We are solid in the middle of sorting through Cruel Wife’s mom’s stuff.

You might be able to imagine three very intelligent and opinionated sisters in a high-stress situation of sorting through their mother’s belongings after a very unexpected demise.  It has been… trying.  Not bad, not good – no judgment – but a situation requiring lots of latitude and patience.

The only thing we can figure is that she exhibited all the symptoms of heart problems, yet because the most commonly known symptoms of heart problems are the symptoms that apply to men.

Things like blue fingers and nose, one cold leg and one hot, tired for no reason… everyone thought she had the best health and ate healthier and exercised more than any of us.  But, sometimes this sort of thing doesn’t make any sense at all and a common theme here has been one of self-blame, and that is unfair to one but it is also understandable.

So three crazy-tense sisters and two of us husbands who could make it, and we’ve tried keeping kids sane or at the least out of their mothers’ hair.  It’s interesting.

On the way out here from the airport (about three hours of driving), we came across an interesting spot.

A single-wide trailer, its outhouse, and next to a truck car-wash.  Save your soul, empty your bladder, and drive away in a sparkling-clean truck.  Just down the road is the best part – a gas station that sells corndogs.  Since being back in the NW I have had five corndogs, which you don’t find in so many places in Michigan.  It has been a slice of heaven.  So not all about this vacation has been sad.  Hey, work with me here – it’s been a visit with many bittersweet moments as memories have been relived – but there have been chances for people to show strength, too.  Corndogs help.

More later…

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Cruel Wife has been encouraging… no, strongly suggesting… no… nagging me to invest time in an online comic strip she loves.

Now don’t get me wrong – it’s steampunk, it’s awesomely drawn, it’s got action and engineering-like stuff in it, and all the chicks have these enormous hooters funbags jugs breasts – what’s not to love, right?  Seriously, these gals make Butterball turkeys hang their heads in shame.

I’ve resisted because frankly, those people who are addicted to it are really addicted to it.  It’s sad.

And now I am, too. Girl Genius.  It’s been out there since 2003.  I met the author/artist at the World Steampunk Expo a few months back.  Interesting trio involved in the strip.

The biggest problem is that you spend so much time reading it, especially at first, that you burn up hours very quickly.  That was my original argument.  I was correct.  I read until 2am last night.  I’m only now into 2005 with five more years to catch up on, with three installments posted per week.  It’s a huge amount of work and they’ve only covered 1/3 of the full story as they have planned out so far.  And it is a very fun ride.


Speaking of addiction…  In order to make this chicken dish tonight I had to have some beer.  I’ve made no secret that I had to give up alcohol because I just loved beer too much.  So there I am in the corner store tonight buying a bottle of beer to cook with.

It is a measure of the power of the addiction when you are more self-conscious about the Red Bull that you are purchasing than the beer you came to buy in the first place. I also chugged the Red Bull in about 30 seconds, burped, and put the can down on the table in front of Cruel Wife and said “I have a problem.”

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Yesterday’s post had a disclaimer that I did not feel well.  Had it been planned, one could have accused me of employing a literary device known as foreshadowing.

Here’s another instance of foreshadowing… this is the rack I could have gotten if I’d chosen to upgrade to for extra money.


Had a hell of a time tonight.  On the way home, as I was riding with The Butcher of Lansing, all of the sudden I couldn’t take a breath.  I mean, I could not take a breath, and it was NOT asthma.  I leaned forward and forced a breath in through a huge effort, and was able to continue breathing. We went further down the freeway and I decided to speak up.  “Butcher, pull off at Jackson Road and pretend that we’re going to the hospital.  Humor me and just do it,” I said.

So we looked for the UofM hospital, overshot it despite the fact that they put up two whole signs to point the way, and headed towards the other local hospital.  I swear, our attempts to find the UofM hospital read like part of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“:

“But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display …”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

By that point I was noticing dry mouth, screaming fast pulse, felt like shite, numbness in my hands was more pronounced than normal as was the pain in my arms and neck, and clammy.   No chest pains but skipping beats every so often.  Related to the epidural?  We wondered.

Funny thing, that release I signed Monday morning prior to the epidural.  It was a form that roughly said:

I understand that this is not a risk-free procedure and that potential side effects could include:  Trench foot, acid reflux, gingivitis, tinnitus, bursitis, myelitis, conjunctivitis, peritonitis, inflamed uterus, headache, phantom limb pain, eczema, fallen arches, ringworm, paralysis, and death.

Seriously, those last two were on that form.  Plus things like loss of bladder control, bowel irregularities, and… yes… difficulty breathing.  The proper response for those events was listed as “GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.”

You can imagine what thoughts were going through my head.

We got there, they whisked me into triage ahead of a compound fracture, two impalements with garden implements, and a sucking head wound.  This might seem odd but remember, with a sucking head wound you can still breathe.  They immediately hooked me up to an EKG and took me in the blood-soaked back of the ER – screams echoed off the walls and vague thudding noises could be heard at irregular intervals.  Hints of brimstone and iodine teased the nose in the drafty cell I was taken to.

Someone asked a question about any recent travel on a plane, train, or bus for an extended period (answer:  No) and then muttered something about “pulmonary embolism” and wandered out of the room without further discussion.  Now, couching the scary stuff in medicalese does not really work with me because I know damn well that pulmonary refers to the big toe and embolism is a fancy-schmancy way of saying “cramp”.  I was plenty worried because I couldn’t figure out how toe cramps equated to breathing difficulties.

They put me on a gurney made of bones, concrete shards, and chicken wire, and then took blood tests for enzyme levels.  I was put on a heart monitor with cables made from barbed wire and later there were  x-rays taken by running through a shuttered area with a poorly shielded cobalt source… I was there for six hours.   Cruel Wife came down and brought GirlHead and HellboyAnd wasn’t that fun!? No, not really.

It was really touching for the first ten seconds – got a tender kiss on my arm from GirlHead.   It wasn’t twenty seconds until GirlHead got into the bio-waste garbage can and Hellboy started playing jump-rope with my IV.  The heart monitor started going BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP in this rapidly increasing and shrill way.  Through clenched teeth I told CW to either put a rein on them or get out because it was helping nothing. Cruel Wife finally got ahold of the sitter on the phone and took them there, vowing to come back later.

When I asked early on in my visit, the Doc said that I could take my [narcotic of choice] and it wouldn’t hurt anything, and by then I was truly in need, eight hours since the last pill – the pain scale goes 0 to 10 and I was at 4 and creeping higher at an alarming rate.  Later he told me that from my blood sample they did enzyme and thyroid tests and he also had a drug panel run on it.  I said “Oh geez, let me guess, you found narcotics.  Gosh, gee willikers, how about that, Patch?”   He looked at me and said “No, not Patch… I’m more like Hawkeye.”   I told him that I wasn’t taking meth, coke, speed, or anything like that.  I only do heroin and huff paint thinner on Tuesdays – us engineers, we have standards.

There was some truth to what he said about being more like Hawkeye Pierce because early on we’d gotten onto the topic of how much caffeine I drink in a given day.  “Well, LOTS,” I said.  He said “Hmmm” in that way that doctors train for years to perfect, and then asked me how I was doing otherwise.  I said “Other things aside, I’m really thirsty… could I get a Coke?”  He left saying that he was going to send the nurse by with a thingy to stick up my thingy for a urine sample.  I told him that was fine as long as we avoided catheters.

Long and short of it, today was a perfect storm.   I woke up feeling terrible – shaky, tired, weak – and probably was dehydrated right off the bat.  Add a Red Bull and a whole bunch of coffee throughout the day because I was struggling continually just to keep moving.  Then add the fact that as an insomniac I don’t sleep for shite to begin with.  Caffeine poisoning.   No wonder my pulse was funky and up around 140 at rest, huh?

X-rays were clear.  Enzymes were clear.  Thyroid was lit but not too lit.  After six hours my pulse was back down around 108 and still dropping.  Had a bitchin’ headache/neckache from lying on the concrete-and-chicken-wire thingy.

Yah-frakkin’ hoo.  Shoulda stayed home like I’d originally planned.   Tomorrow, however, I’m working from home.  Tough shite.  I was going to meet with Le Savant Fou (a fantastic scientist I work with)  in the morning but I’m sure she’ll understand.


Quick!  While all the rich greedy corporate guys are weak and bleeding, finish them off with energy-conscious mileage requirements!  This is really going to stimulate the economy into a tailspin.  I’m going to come right out and say it:  Obama, you’re an asshole.


More evidence that Obama is just the kind of president that Iran has been hoping for these last 20-something years… a spineless kumbaya-singing hand-wringing jellyfish.

Why else suddenly crow about the looming ability to nuke US interests and Israel in the middle east?


Nothing says love quite the same way.  Swiss-made spike strips to block off your driveway.



Doesn’t get much more self-serving, insincere, and worthless than this.  I call BS on this.  This is just another “apology that isn’t an apology” that politicians and liberals are so very famous for.  Never once did he say “I’m sorry I behaved like an asshole and ‘teabagging’ was rude and obnoxious of me.”

Calling it a “stupid, silly, one-line aside,” he touched on the attention it received. “I think it’s an incorrect statement to say I was, in any way, trying to disparage legitimate protests,” said Cooper. “I don’t think it’s my job to disparage, or encourage, which oddly other networks seemed to be doing. Protest is the great right of all Americans, and it’s not my job in any way to make fun of people or disparage what they’re doing.

“Cooper said he regretted making the comment. “If people took offense to that and felt that I was disparaging their legitimate right to protest, and what they were doing, then that is something I truly regret, because I don’t believe in doing that,” he said. “Having this discussion just takes away from the real story.”  – Anderson Cooper making a disingenuous speech at a UCLA Weasel-fest

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