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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

The heat was on.

A few days ago I was talking to The Brains at work, a couple of cool PhD’s in Things That Involve Math. One is a good friend and the other happens to be the VP at my company.

Suddenly Prime Number says to Hot Pants (the VP’s name as a result of this very story) “Hey, show Lemur the pic of your neighbor’s kid!”

Hot Pants whips out his smartphone and shows me where the kid had all manner of burns around his mouth and head. He ate a Bhut Jolokia pepper at school, got fried, and then rubbed it all around his face and head, unaware that the stuff burns skin, too. Then the kid went home for the afternoon.

I told Hot Pants that the ghost pepper is pretty damned hot and not to be screwed around with. Jokingly I said that I had some and I would bring them in if he wanted. He said absolutely.

For rough reference… Habanero is a quarter million Scoville. Red Savina is half a mil. Jolokia is a cool one mil. Roughly.

Yesterday I brought them in and taped them to my doorframe with a post-it note that said “Hot Pants… This is your destiny. – LK”

Around lunchtime he came in and there was a gathering of five of us to watch, with Rectified Diode being the most excited. He was really looking forward to watching it.

HP took a bite and I started describing to him what he was about to experience as he munched.

“Ok, it should start out with a nice smoky flavor.”

“Yeah, it is smoky… Nice.”

“Ok, now it should start to build slowly in heat but there are some other nice flavors there.”

“Yeah.”

“Ok, now it should pick up speed…”

“Yup.”

“Ok, now it is going to feel like you drank battery acid.”

(Dawning expression) “Yeah, that describes it pretty well.”

He gave a pained expression and was flushing red.

“Ok, now it will continue to get worse for the next 30 minutes. A lot worse.”

Then I took a picture of him holding up the bag, in pain.

He deliberately made a point of taking additional bites. See, when I ate one, I ate all I was going to eat in one go. He had rabid wolves eating him and he was egging them on.

So I sent out an email to a large number of people to give credit where it was due, with pics.

Subject: Mr. Vice President, Sir.

The man is tough. Continued to finish off the pepper even as it was attacking him. He dominated that pepper. Had I eaten the one I did in stages I doubt I could have kept chomping on it.

You have my respect, Hot Pants.

We should probably get some “fire eaters” shirts.

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Note: I do not give out compliments lightly, so this was a highly unusual email for me to be sending.

Later, Prime Number, HP, and I met with a customer. Old Man (our president) attended.

When it was over, Old Man looked directly at me and said “Stop trying to kill my employees.”

Apparently Hot Pants had spent an hour curled up on the floor of the locked men’s room in agony.

He still has my respect. I think I even felt a bit of guilt but it passed quickly and I at first mistook it for gas.

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Oh he is so doomed…

How do you know you are a dead man?

A California couple is asking the public for help locating a woman who the husband accidentally sold a box to without realizing his wife’s $23,000 wedding ring was inside.

He’s dead, and he knows it.

More later…

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Quizzicality.

I am still not quite up to snuff.  It’s nothing bad, I am just taking less painkillers by pure choice and feeling the effects of post-surgery more.

I’m told to stop doing this as being all tensed up and such makes it take that much longer to heal but dammit I’m sick and tired of being drugged.  I know people pay good money for that but I value my brain.

Don’t you worry, I give in when I’ve got no other choice.  I’m a control freak.  What do you want to hear?

I did get out with Cruel Wife and toured her company.

Some roads around Detroit are better than I remember.  Some still suck ass, and those range from feeling like the cobblestones at the end of the Tour de France to feeling like a Hare Scramble in Baja, Mexico.

Slice it any way you like, Detroit roads are hell on neck fusions and it is a LONG drive.  On the ride out there I tensed up, gritted my teeth, made sudden hissing noises.  Sensing that it would be better to distract Cruel Wife and myself from these sounds and thoughts, I struck up a conversation.

LK:  Hey.

CW: What?

LK:  When I meet your new boss, can I screw with his head?

CW:  No.

LK:  Can I subtly push him off balance?

CW:  No.

LK:  Can I plant the seeds for screwing with his head the next time I meet him?

CW:  NO!  No no no no – NO.  Leave him alone.  Wait until you and I both know him better.

LK:  (Pouting)  Man, I enjoy messing with people’s heads.

CW:  I know you do, and so does he in an overt way.  You like to do it stealthily so they don’t get it at first…

LK:  And then, reveal it to them when it will have maximal impact.  Yes.  Yes, I do. 

LK:  (Pause while thinking about it.)  Huh huh huh.

(That’s the laugh women can’t do because they don’t have the right equipment.)

CW:  No, you cannot mess with his head.  Leave him alone.

Sensing it would be better to go back to tensing up, gritting my teeth, and making sudden hissing noises I started doing so.

About 30 long minutes later we had dim-sum with her boss and co-workers.  It was great.  I waddled out of there totally stuffed, loosened the neck brace a few buttons, steadied myself mightily with my walking stick, and we set off for the rest of the day.

Went by her company and got to see all the cool lab testing equipment and this one thing called a magnaflux.

You spray the part you want to look at with this solvent containing a crapload of colloidal magnetic particles.  Then you put the test part in this giant hoop and put a 2000A-5000A pulse through it with a *BANG*.  The part jumps (presumably to let you know that it is fully cooked) and then when you look at it under a black light you can see fluorescing cracks where the particles are aligned with the induced B-field.  It’s really quite cool.   It helps greatly if you believe in electrons when explaining the large-current part but if we just assume that the magnetic field was let out of a bottle of magnetism† then everyone walks away happy.

† Yes, I believe in electrons.  I just can’t see them so they kind of piss me off.  What can I say?  I was attacked by a clown as a child and my dad was an electrician, opening me up for getting the feces zapped out of me a few times.  The evil clown probably isn’t relevant but I thought I’d throw it in there.  Dad argued that it was my fault (sure, blame the victim) and I pointed my unburned fingers at the electrons which unsurprisingly didn’t show themselves any more, acting all innocent-ey.

Oh, the quiz part… Are you scientifically literate?

I got a 92% (missed 4).  I don’t feel too badly about it because the ones I missed had to do with planetary moons around gas giants (why clutter my brain with useless stuff that I can always go look up?), the whole “Pluto isn’t a planet” idiocy (like I give a sh*t), heaviest noble gas of which I never once used for anything (I’m partial to Helium, Xenon, Argon, Krypton, thank you), and one on cellular growth.   I have nothing to be ashamed of.

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All right folks.  I may have done something not so smart Saturday night but it was because I felt so good I didn’t even think about it.  We have a hand-chopper (Blitzhacker) thing and I was chopping up pickles.  Six hits, light ones, with my right hand…. and bazinga.  Not sure what happened, probably nothing bad but it was kind of painful.  Intensely related to my neck.  Hurts other places.

Damn damn damn.

Anyway, this next snippet of story takes balls.  Castrating of lambs can be hazardous to your health.  Especially if you use your teeth.

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So if you are sitting there in your back yard and the rich kid up on the hill is using his iPad helicopter to spy on your sister while she sunbathes and takes pictures of you doing … things… and then uses pictures of both for his own uses and shares them with the other neighbors…  do you give him back his iQuadcopter when it lands in your yard?

I think Iran is a bunch of slimy bastards but somehow Obama calling them up and telling them they *have* to give our stealth craft back… boy would I ever tell him to stuff it if I were in their shoes.

Iran is a bunch of douchebags that should be bombed the rest of the way back into the stone ages before they are actually able to strike Israel.   But at the same time I don’t blame them for saying to the US “Hey, thanks, free spy-plane!”

“We obviously believe strongly in a diplomatic approach. We want to see the Iranians engage and, as you know, we have attempted to bring about that engagement over the course of the last three-plus years. It has not proven effective, but we are not giving up on it,” [Secretary of State Hilary Clinton] said.

What isn’t said as loudly by the Obama administration:

Yeah, we’ve seen how lots of sucking up and bowing has really proven less effective in controlling the leaders of rogue nations and human-rights-trampling nations than we would have thought.   We really thought toadying up and acting all beta-male would be respected by these regimes and they would fall right in line with our new Metrosexual Alpha-Shemale approach – you know, the one President Obama keeps demonstrating time and time again?  It’s designed to make everyone think you’re alpha male without you ever having to be that way – it’s much safer, we think.

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I am now hooked up to a sedative. See, everyone that comes in sees a calm individual.

Had the anesthesiologist say “your appearance fooled me but not your vitals. So I am going to order up something.”

Bless you, child.

Cruel Wife is sitting 3 feet away banging on her laptop.

And as i said, I just got my sedatives and iV painkiller. Very smooth.

So I am going to knock off for now.

LK

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Pressure points

They did a discography today.

Note:  Many thanks to The Dude (aka Wilson to my House) for taking a half day off and driving me to and from the procedure.  Cruel Wife couldn’t originally get the time off but then came down with a nasty cold and so I’m keeping her at least one room away rather than catch it before surgery.  Spaced Diode was going to but then he got called off to San Antonio for work travel (poor bastard).

Imagine you are lying on your back, no sedative, and a looooooong needle is inserted in the front left right side of your neck so it can puncture the discs on the left side and inflate them. the needle goes through your entire neck diagonally.

Imagine that happening multiple times.

I’ve attached a horizontally-flipped image and put arrows on it to show where they stick you.  Think of it then going for the left side of the spine.

Simply put, it is rather painful when they pump fluid into a disc.

I can think of things I would rather do.

Luckily I have painkillers now. Still smarts but the sharp edges have been taken off.

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Happy Thanksgiving folks!

We were going to go to a retaurant for dinner but got invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at the last moment.  The friend of mine up at the UofM.

He felt guilty that he wouldn’t be able to take me to tdo test procedure on Monday because he’d be on travel to San Antonio next week but he’ll be driving me to/from the surgery.  I told him to stop feeling guilty.

Next Monday is the procedure where they pressurize the disc in my neck.  My understanding is that it hurts like he’ll so I am looking forward to it.  It turns out that The Dude can drive me.  So he’ll get some good laughs.

But today, we feast.  Hope you all have a good time with family and friends!

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Stuck in a Rut

If you have been wondering it has been more of the same. Would you believe that the length of time you can wait to see a doc can be measured in weeks and months?

This is with pain through the neck and arm with numbness and burning through the wrist, thumb, and index finger. Great, just great.

So life goes on. I have a friend/co-worker giving me rides, which I probably mentioned. Just seems prudent because a bad day would otherwise mean Cruel Wife coming to get me with the kids after her commute home. Wish she didn’t have to take up so much of my slack.

Sorry I don’t have anything cheery to say. Running low on reserves.

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Not so fast…

I had a message on my answering machine last night that I didn’t hear until 1AM when I thought of it.  It was the clinic calling me to remind me that today I was scheduled for another epidural at 8:40AM.

Ruh-roh.

The doc (we’ll call him Dr. 10.0) had said if I didn’t get good results with the last epidural to contact the doc I saw two days ago, Dr. Sawbones.

Doc Sawbones had said he wouldn’t cut on me and that it was soft-tissue damage and referred pain.  Ok, fine.  Back to square one.

This morning I went to Dr. 10.0′s practice and apologized because I thought the referral kind of canceled the procedure and I didn’t have plans or a driver for today – and I mentioned that I don’t think another epidural will do a lick of good.

Doc 10.0 asks me how the consult he ordered went (with Dr. Sawbones).  I told him what Dr. Sawbones had diagnosed and partway through Dr. 10.0 was shaking his head.

“No, no, I’ve looked at your MRI’s and seen the herniated discs, I know the pain you’re in, I know the numbness in your hand and pain in your shoulder, arm, and hand.  No.  I’m going to send you to a neurosurgeon at the UofM, Dr. Nutt, and when you see him make sure he knows this is not a consult, that I’m sending you to him because I feel you need a surgical solution and he is the best.  Okay?”

Well, if ever I needed proof positive that the doc truly believes there’s something wrong other than “he’s a malingerer and looking for pills” assessment.   Burning numb fingers that don’t type correctly 50% of the time, crippling headaches, intense aches in the neck, and stabbing pains in the neck all seem kind of wrong to me.  Maybe I’m over-reacting.

So I’m off to see Dr. Nutt sometime in the near future.  He’s probably sharpening his chainsaw in anticipation.  No, I still don’t want surgery but at least this offers hope of repair rather than acceptance of failure and lots of crappy compromise.

****

More later…

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Anyone who comes here, perhaps as many as tens of people know that I’ve got this chronic pain thing going on.

After about 30 days of it you are ready to try a good deal many things.  It’s been 4-1/2 years and that hasn’t changed one bit.  I’d scoff goat glands or snort battery acid if there was proof that it helped.

So in the pain-clinic circles someone suggested that diet may play a part and that by adjusting one’s diet one might, and I stress might see some positive changes in that area.

Being heavy into the cycle of ready-to-try-something-anything, I agreed to see this nutritional doctor that was suggested by the someone I made mention of in the last paragraph.

The place was a bear to find so I was late.  That was the last good thing about this visit.

I shuffled in and they gave me the obligatory sheaf of dead trees to fill out all my intimate thoughts, visceral feelings, embarrassing bodily functions, and most importantly, credit card and billing info.

I was then ushered into a room where a gal who we will call Barbarella put on this band thingy around my chest that measured my Zetans or some such thing while lying down and standing up.  Big snoozer there.  Then I went to another room and filled out more paperwork.  I was only on page 47 of 63 when in walks Doctor Seuss.

We talked about what I want and it boiled down to (1) less pain, (2) some weight loss, and (3) lower cholesterol.  I don’t need help with sunken arches, atrophied trenchfoot, spontaneous extra appendix bursting and regrowth (Vestigal Jesus Organs, or VJO), migrating toenails, cleft kneecaps, excessive ear fat, West Ebola-Listerial Nigerian Nile-Pox, or any other crap up to and including failed penile implants or a hyperspatially-deviated septum.

He asked all the questions I already answered.  I got all specific on his ass and said that my neck is FUBAR’ed, but specifically C4-5 and C5-6 are the problems on the left leading to lots of scary conditions ending in “-algia”.

I was told to hold out my right arm to the side.  He pushed down on it.  He pulled, prodded, had me do other things with the left while doing things to that right arm.

So far, so good, muscle strength test – seemed pretty straightforward.

Each time he was pushing down on my arm with one of two levels of force.  Light pushes where he lifted his body as if he was pushing down hard and then actually pushing down hard during those times when he would say “See how it was weaker, there?”

Beep beep, back the truck up.  My right arm is my good one.  No numbness or weakness there at all.  And the feeling is perfectly fine there.  So where I visually saw two levels of effort in his pushing downward on my arm, I correspondingly felt two levels of force.  It wasn’t that I was any weaker from one to the next, it was just more downward force.

But I said to myself, “Ok, go with it, because, after all, he can’t possibly be doing this this badly.  No one can.”

He continued on for some time putting my left arm in different positions and having me do different things and then pushing down on my right – each time with this exaggerated forcing that looks like it came from Pro Wrestling or my five year old.

He then stopped and said “How are you feeling?”

I said “Well, I’ve had my right arm out there for some time, it’s getting a bit tired.”

So he motioned to the aide Barbarella who materialized next to me, and I jumped to the side and screamed “SNEAK MUCH???” in hushed tones at the top of my lungs.  She had come in while I was unawares and distracted.

He said in a kind and thoughtful voice “Well, you’re going to have more difficulty with your left so Barbarella will help us out.”

Huh?  Barbarella will help us out?  What is this, a porno set?

Then things got really really strange…

Barbarella put her right hand on my left shoulder, held out her left arm to the side.  Then Doctor Seuss started putting things in my right hand, arm straight out to the side, and pushing down on HER arm.

Did you get that?  I was stunned.  Stunned, I tell you.

He put a sealed-on-both-ends vial in my right hand and pushed down on her arm.  He started swapping it out for other glass bottles with screw-on lids – one contained thousands of little eyeballs (or tapioca), another looked like dried ginger (or mummified fingers), and one that looked like sputum.  Then came the odd ones – plutonium peanut butter, whirled peas, cat fur, back carseat vacuumings, rutabaga scrotums, transient toenails (too awful to describe), toad lickings (scraped from Wall Street yuppie tongues), purple piss, and scented snake oil… plus 30 more.  Sometimes her arm would go down more, sometimes less.

At the end of all that I was sitting there thinking “Ok, this cannot actually be happening.  Can’t be…

You’d be proud of me to know that I did not go “House” on him and mentally bitch-slap him while simultaneously shaming him hideously.

But I did bitch-slap him and I did shame him but just not simultaneously.  I just didn’t do it cruelly and on purpose like I would a co-worker or someone I don’t respect.   Just on purpose.  I was in control, sans cruelty.

Yes, ID10T-Killer reads this blog from time to time so he can support the notion regarding me shaming people I don’t respect, as can The Dude.

I said “Ok, you’re going to have to bear with me because I thought I was here for a dietary lifestyle consult, and I cannot for the life of me see how you can possibly get a viable diagnostic indicator from (1) having me hold glass containers of different things, and (2) pushing down on another person’s arm acting as proxy for mine.”

They looked at me in stunned silence and I said “There’s no way a material in a glass bottle is going to affect me physically in a way that is a useful diagnostic.”  (Barring hard radiation or a leaky bottle of HF, of course.)

He looked at me and said… he said… he… he…

Look, Loyal ReaderI can’t make this stuff upIt’s too bizarreI’m perfectly serious.  He said:

The stuff in the vials acts on your body via Quantum Mechanics.  – Dr. Seuss in response to Lemur King’s disbelief of utter horseshit new-age beliefs

I looked at him and said “You do realize that my education/degree is in the field of physics?”

Barbarella just stared at me with her mouth open, shocked that someone would disagree with a man of his learning and caliber.  Dr. Seuss said with a learned air of superiority, hoping to cow me, “Have you ever taken a course in quantum mechanics?”

I chuckled and said “Yes, I’m a research and opto-mechanical engineer and I’ve done quite a lot of physics, classical and dabbled in the quantum as well.  And, you should know that QM is not applied at the macro-scale.”

Note to readers:  Can we please not get into the argument that classical mechanics are derived directly from quantum mechanics?  If you are going to argue for QM being applied to the macro scale show me something huge that can tunnel through a brick wall – in the QM sense – and I don’t want to hear about the BBW Wal-Mart Hippo-in-Spandex stampeding after the smell of a roasted chicken.  I’m just not up for it.  The point here is that I was calling out a guy for being full of shit in my presence (and on my dime, you could argue).  And you are encouraged to give me demerits for not asking him if he’d ever read Feynman’s lectures, as I have, and if he has, asking him “Did you like the ‘Thirteen Easy Pieces’ lectures or the ‘Seven Extremely Hard Topics’ ones better?”  That would have been the perfect test because if he said he had and not corrected me by saying “‘Six Easy Pieces,’ you mean, right?” or “Don’t you mean ‘Six Not-So-Easy Pieces’?” he would have failed the test.  It would have been great because then I would have been completely justified in turning him into an intellectual quadriplegic for trying to bullshit me using my hero, Richard Feynman.  Sort of like providing for him a quantum well to fall down.

“Do you have any scientific papers describing the physical/physiological mechanisms you are talking about?” I asked.

Dr. Seuss turned a bit red and said “No, but the handout I gave you tells you everything you need to know about it.”

I glanced at the two pages, front and back, and said “I don’t see any references here.  This could be from anywhere!  Ok, look, before I go spending my money on visits and lots of supplements I want to re-evaluate whether I want to be coming here.  I’m having a hard time buying any of this.”

He got excited and said, “Ok, so you may not believe in this, but you have to focus on results.  I could have come in here wearing a Dr. Seuss† hat and you would have thought ‘Gee, he’s really weird’ but you would have to pay attention to the results, and I can do what you want and reduce pain so you can get off painkillers like you asked.”

Thus the name I have given him: “Dr. Seuss”

Note:  I would love it if he could actually do all that, because I wouldn’t have been there otherwise, but the moment a rocket scientist starts telling me that he has little faerie-friends that assist him in sexually gratifying his cat every night is the moment I decide to never ride on his rocket.  Same thing goes for the medical profession.  If my surgeon carries a lucky rabbit’s foot or my dietician guy believes that bottles of stuff act on my body quantum dynamically, I’m out of there.

“Are we through here?  Because I’m done.  I’ll let you know what I decide.”

So I paid the charge because dissatisfaction with methods isn’t the same as being overtly ripped off – I did agree to the “consultation” even if it was a bunch of Ann Arbor new-age bullshit and walked out of there, feeling rather like a chump and wishing I had wasted the money on cheap booze and trashy women instead because that would have been an orders-of-magnitude better use of my time and money.

Yes, Cruel Wife reads this blog, too, and I’m not so sure she wouldn’t also have preferred I put the money to better uses, like cheap booze and trashy women.

Now, if he had talked to me about magnets, crystals, or colored water derived from illuminating it under filtered light, that would have been different.  We could have talked then.  We could have had a chat.

What pisses me off is that there are people that are buying into that – belief in fakery in spite of clear evidence of fraud right in front of their very eyes.

If you have your own story of how your personal Dr. Seuss has helped you and improved your life using the methods described above, I’d like you to write it all down, capture every detail, and comment about it anywhere but here.  I’m not interested.

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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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taobmaetS ooGcM rightly guessed that not all has been well recently.

I’ve been working like a horse to make a project work for months and finally two scientists I work with flew out to make it work – plus a third scientist who we are collaborating with.  I felt some relief that surely with their help we would lick this problem, but at the same time it was with a different small amount of relief that after three days three absolutely brilliant scientists found nothing flawed with my work.  But, that also means that we still didn’t make it work.

I told one of them that I thought that what we have been thinking our diagnostics have been telling us about our laser is incorrect and that meant that no matter what we did we would not get the wee beastie working.  She agreed.  I said I needed to go home because I physically couldn’t do any more.

That (Friday) evening, just two hours later, I got a phone call from one of the other scientists telling me that I could opt to say no, but “Would you go down to Texas to build the instrument that you designed at a different facility?”

What the hell are you supposed to do, say no?

Without missing a beat I said “Yup, I will go.”  When I got surprise on the other end I said “Look, I’ve been killing myself over this and I damn well want to see it work.  I’m not giving up.  If it doesn’t work it won’t be because I didn’t give it everything I’ve got.”

So this week I fly down to Texas to try another group’s laser and equipment – let’s hope it works.

Yes, that has been A problem but not THE problem.  I’ve been over-exerting myself physically and for long enough that my neck has been telling me things were seriously wrong.  Friday last, it really told me.  I was in a vicious pain cycle to the point where I nearly had a co-worker take me to the hospital but managed to get it under control with painkillers before that became necessary.

Saturday was the real problem.  I woke up in the morning pretty bad off and took pretty much everything I could, but after an hour I was even worse.  I asked Cruel Wife to call the pain doc and have him call the ER ahead of us so they knew to not let me sit in agony in the waiting room for three hours like last time (that was a few years back).  Problems with going to the ER are (1) acute embarrassment even though you just want them to make it stop, and (2) there is nothing you can say that will convince them that you truly aren’t a drug-seeker, unless you have a decent doc like I have finally found who managed to pin down three discs that other docs missed.

I was lying there, pretty much writhing on the bed, when Cruel Wife came in and said “here, take these… the doc called in another Rx”.  Time ceases to have any meaning when you feel like that so it had felt like both years and moments since I’d asked her to call the doc.   I took them and within 15-20 minutes I was wrung-out but the pain was receding rapidly, and I was drowsy enough to fall asleep.  I stayed drugged up all weekend, knowing that I had to pack up and fly to Texas for three days and hoping that the rest and meds would allow my body to heal a bit.

I still feel kind of cruddy but better than I have been.

My apologies for not posting – it will be spotty this week, too, but I will be taking all of next week off.

****

Well, damn.  Can’t say as how I blame him.  Makes you wish you could take the load off his shoulders though.  Through no fault of his own…

****

People assume weather science can predict anything?  Well, isn’t that true if climate scientists can project global warming and climate change out to 100 years from now?

“People see that and assume we can predict everything,” National Hurricane Center senior forecaster Richard Pasch said.

But when Irene struck, the storm did not stick with the forecast’s predicted major hurricane strength winds.

“It’s frustrating when people take our forecasts verbatim and say, ‘This is where it’s going to be at this time and this is how strong it’s going to be,’” Pasch said. “Because even though the track is good it’s not certain.”

In other news, global warming is causing a rise in mental illness.  Hmmm.   I thought the latter led to the former.

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ”emotional injury, stress and despair” in the wake of these events.

Damn, that is choice.

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In my school days, getting good or perfect attendance was expected and if you were skipping a lot of days it mean an ass-kicking at home.  Now, apparently, you get an iPod for doing what you should have been doing anyway.

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And here I thought Spice was a geriatric drug that gave you blue eyes and allowed you to fold space.  Well, it must do something if so many folks in the military (and elsewhere) are testing positive for it.  People don’t generally test positive for massive ingestion of talcum powder or carnuba wax because they don’t get you high.

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Okay.  That’s all I’ve got for now.

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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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