Sunday, December 31, 2006

Pondering

Why does pain always make me philosophical? Big pain relapse today,
I must have tried to do too much yesterday. So about all I can do is
sit and think about things. Many streams of thoughts in my head
these last few days.

The world. It seems worse than usual these days. Grim and angry on
so many levels. The hope for the future and mankind isn't there. That
spiritual reaching for something bigger and better than ourselves,
why is it missing? I feel it is missing in myself these days. I always
aspired to something more cosmic, and believed my life would just
keep getting better. Now I'm not so sure. It seems very daily grind,
the spirit is small.

People - it feels more and more like people wont let each other into
their lives. They are barricading themselves in their on little corners,
and don't want others to share in their being. Friendships seem to be
at arms length, and somewhat distracted and distant. I want lots
of people climbing all over my life, full of laughter and energy,
tilting together at windmills, sharing in the daily triumphs and
defeats.

But those around me, who I felt the most bond with, don't let me
in. Like they don't realize that just honestly telling me what it going
on with them is an act of sharing and trust. It sends the message.
"I don't have time for you. I don't want you to be a part of my life."
Who wants to be someone no one has time for? What is so special
about your life, that no one can be part of it?

Caring and passion for life are also dulling quickly. Things used to
matter so much to everyone. Maybe they really don't matter that
much, but putting that much energy and caring into life, causes and
each other is a much more invigorating environment. We seem to
be settling into an apathetic active act of not caring. Does our
armor really need to be that thick? What are we really protecting?

For 2007 I wish that myself and others shakily try to bridge those
gaps between each other and find a new hope. I think the world is
in for a really tough 15-20 year period ahead, before we pull out
into a brighter future. I think ultimately we will do the right things
for mankind, but it seems it always has to get rather bad before the
world can collectively get motivated to change.

Somehow we have to find our small islands of brightness in this.
and what can that hope be, but each other? I feel like all I can
do is whisper into the howling wilderness, "I care."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Phoenix, indeed.

I managed to go into work for 4 hours today, though I was pretty
wiped when I got home. I'm not totally back yet. Still very weak,
and some pain. I find I have to block out some of the memories
of the operation and the first two days of pain. They make me a
little shaky inside. Best not to remember.

And here I am starting over again. How many little deaths have there
been in my life? The ones that find you climbing again out of some
mental or physical hole that dropped you back to zero or less.

Building up again, and again, and again. I really am the Phoenix.
Aren't we all?

If we didn't have to start over each time, wouldn't we transcend
into something much better? Why this cycle of repetition, of
starting over? How much it holds back humans. But I haven't
found the choice not to do it that way. I wonder if anyone ever
really does? I think some think they do. But I'm not sure that
they are not fooling themselves. And the always question -

Why does it have to be that way?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thinking of Living...

Things are much better today. The pain is much more manageable
and I got 9 straight hours of sleep last night! Granted I'm still
sleeping in the recliner, I can't put too much pressure on my head
yet. I think I'll sleep better when I can go back to my bed.

I saw the doctor again today and had the stitches out. I was hoping
for the staples, but those don't come out until Tuesday. I still have
12 of them in my head, and they are irritating as heck. But the pain
is easily handled now by ipuprophen.

The new coffee table came today and it is great. Lots of baskets and
hidden storage, so the living room doesn't look so unruly.
That's as exciting as it gets, right now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Coffee Tables and Pain

The pain was almost bearable today. Good thing, since Medica didn't
approve the pain medicine. So I bought a coffee table.

I need to go back to work soon. Staying home, I see what is wrong
with it, and I try to fix it. Staring at the old, falling apart coffee
table drove me nuts. I've been staring at it for a week, since I've
been unable to do anything. It is better if I don't spend any time at
home. Cheaper, anyways.

I blame it on lack of sleep. I still can't sleep more than 3 hours at a
time, before the pressure and the pain gets me up.
Hopefully I don't buy anything tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Discouragement

One of those days.

I went to the doctor today and he took out about half the staples.
I'm still in a lot of pain, so he tried to help by tracking down a pain
killing lollipop that they give to kids for post-op pain. The pharmacy
did it's best, but Medica kept turning it down, wanting pre
authorization, and when the doctor faxed everything in, they
asked for 24 hours to review it. It didn't matter that I've haven't
slept in days, or was in terrible pain NOW. They told the
pharmacist when he kept insisting this was for post -operation
pain that "They had 800 other claims in front of them, and
couldn't do anything".

Then I got home to the find that dishwasher installer said he couldn't
do the job. The cabinet and counter tops were damaged and falling
apart and were substandard. There was no way to brace it in without
it falling out. I knew the kitchen needed work, but now my great
bargain dishwasher is going to cost $1000 in new cabinets and
counters along with the electrical and water lines run. And he
can't come back to do the real estimate until next Thursday....

So I'm in pain with no relief, the cold is worse today, still have to
do dishes by hand while not feeling well, and I'm going to be another
$1000 poorer. Ugh. Things are definitely not looking up in the short
term.

No photos today. I look just like yesterday only now my entire neck
is a bright greenish-yellow. The body needs a lesson in color.
It produces some of the weirdest and most unpleasant colors!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Blues

I sure hope this turns around soon. I'm pretty depressed,
but I suppose that is normal too. I've been fighting the
pain and the sickness for 5 days now and I've got nothing
left. But I've heard that people often go through a tough
time after having this kind of surgery.

You did something good for yourself, that was supposed to
make you feel better about yourself. Instead, you look
like hell, and feel even worse.
I obviously need some sleep.

Purple and Yellow for all!

The eye bruises are really dark - impressive!
The side photo shows the whole side of my face and neck is
now kind of a yellow purple. My ears are still huge!
I have "boxer" ears. The sport - not the dog!




Tired, hungry, and bored - I must be getting better!

I can't tell if day 5 is better or not! I still have my cold,
though it might be a little less severe. The bruising is
really cranking up. Both sides of my face are yellow bruises,
as is most of my neck. I'm really tired most of the time.

I did manage to get out of the house and go to the store
for a bit to do a little late Christmas shopping. No one
even looked at me weird. I look like a beating victim -
Minnesotans are just too polite! I wanted to frighten a
few people. I was really weak the couple of hours I was
out and had to sleep when I got home.

Sleeping is still not good. I sleep about 2-3 hours at a
time at which point the pressure on the staples and stitches
hurts too much and I have to get up and apply ice packs to
everything and take more ibuprophen. I see the doctor
tomorrow, I don't know if any staples will come out at
that point. They weren't kidding about this recovery may
take about 2 weeks. I think it would be faster if I wasn't
fighting the cold at the same time. Ho-hum. Not much else.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Overall, looking more human....

I'm beginning to look more like myself again. I can't really tell
what the neck will look like, it is still very puffy, about 1/2
again it's normal size. I guess that is one way to fill the skin...
The right side of my face is mostly yellow and purple now and the
ears are just starting to come down in size.


weird eye bruises

The wierdest bruises I have are these purple lines that come straight
out from the corners of my eys. It looks like a purple pencil line.


She Lives!

I think my cold, pain level, swelling and bruising all peaked
at about the same time last night. It was a tough night - and
I finally managed to keep down a Vicaden pain pill this
morning at got some sleep. Mostly the staples are hurting.
I felt around in my hair, and there are something like 20
staples in there! I feel like a large office document...

I'm feeling a bit better today. I can sit up for a couple
hours at a time, and managed to eat more. Chewing is still
a challenge, so I'm still on soft stuff to eat. What a
diet plan! I lost 5 lbs in 5 days. I really don't recommend
getting a cold and surgery at the same time as a diet plan...

I sat out in the sun for 5 minutes today. It felt really
good. I've been living in a cave too long! Well the lab at
work is sort of like a cave... I don't get outside much.

I ran out of my gypsy cold care tea on Christmas, but I
found that ginger tea with honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper
is a really good substitute! For Christmas dinner today,
I had macaroni with cheese and tuna. I put parsley in it
to make it look festive!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Next year, I'm really getting a pony for Christmas...

I've never actually had a black eye before, and now I have 2
beautiful ones! The neck is just starting to bruise, along
with the sides of my face. And my ears are HUGE. They are so
puffed up, it is hard to imagine wearing earings again.




2 shiners to be proud of!

Woo-hoo! The swelling and bruising is really maxing out.
I HAVE to think of a better story to go with these
pictures. I must have had a titanic battle with evil
superpowers or something! Come on, having neck skin
pulled up, is just not cool!

This is why no one can bribe me with bad pictures of
myself. I post them myself! Someday I'll look at these
and wonder "What was I thinking? Where is my vanity?"

Anyway, I am really, really swollen and bruised, and my
face and ears hurt a lot. Strangely my neck hurts the
least of anything. I finally got to wash my hair, and
immediately fell asleep from the exertion. I can't sit up
for more than an hour at a time, and it is getting really
boring. I can't even stay awake to play video games or read.
I still have my cold, as bad as ever which is really
making this healing thing even harder.

The doctor called me a bit ago to see how I was doing. We
both are going to do a lot more research on pain medications.
I have to find a different solution to the narcotic ones, if
I ever have another operation. I just couldn't bear to go
through that kind of pain again.

I think the doctor is like me, always researching, and looking
for something new. I just wish we had found it before this.

My big plans for Christmas Eve tonight, is to have spaghetti
for dinner. I love spaghetti, and I think I might be able to
chew it. I managed a baked potato for lunch!

Merry Christmas Eve, everybody!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Yeah, I've Been In A Fight - And I Won!

Day 2 - bandages are off, and the bruising is starting on my
neck and both sides of the cheeks.

Why the heck am I bruised up to my eyeballs? It was my neck
that got worked on? Now if I can think of a good story why I
look like that! (I'm thinking of a story where I was battling
Ninja Lumberjacks...) They haven't let me wash my hair yet
because of the incisions in the hairline. Eeewww! Tomorrow!



Gross Star-Wars Character! - Day 1

Me, this morning, with full head bandages. Cayenne says I look like
some kind of bizzare Star Wars alien. (Yes those things hanging at
my ears are blood drains.) Sorry! I thought it was strange they
make you go out in public with those gross things and kept trying
to tuck them in my coat...



Holy **!!%$, did that ever hurt!

So just because you can document something, doesn't mean you
should! But I am a chronic documentarian so here goes, gross
pictures and all... Things you don't want to know about having your
neck skin pulled up after big weight loss.......

I will never do that kind of operation without at least 'twilight
anethesia'. I just had local which meant lots of novicane type stuff
injected all over my neck and head. That was more pain than I
wanted for about 1/2 hour. The woman before me didn't make it,
and demanded General anethesia. It didn't occur to me that I could.

The operation took over 3 1/2 hours, and was really boring. Not a
lot of pain, but not anything resembling fun. When the novicane
wore off I was in very intense pain for the next 17 hours. I was
taking 1 Vicaden an hour, and it still wouldn't stop the pain. It
made me very, very nauseous. I could only eat oatmeal and liquids
and couldn't keep them down. I didn't sleep at all. It was an agonizing
night, that wouldn't have been too bad for someone who can tolerate
narcotic pain medicine. But I was seriously questioning myself for
putting myself through this much pain.

Went to the doc this morning to have drains removed, and he gave
me anti-nausea medicine. Which I threw up in the car - (I was
prepared with barf-bag), but it didn't make me think much of anti-
nausea meds! However when he removed the pressure bandages,
I could deal with the pain. Today I've just been using ibuprophen
and ice packs. I slept almost the whole day, and can keep liquids down.

At the moment, I'm not sure I should have done this. It bothered me
so much having my sagging skin on my neck, that it seemed that if
there was a problem, it should be corrected! (I'm kind of like that.).
I'll probably change my mind when I heal up, but right now, it was
pretty horrible. AND I still have my stupid cold. You try blowing your
nose with staples and stitches behind your ears!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Go...

I came home early from work today. The cold was dragging me down,
and there was freezing rain and snow happening outside. It is weird
to look out and see white on everything. Only an inch or so, but it is
clinging to all the trees. Amazing we made it to December 21st with
no snow on the ground!

I looked up the sleeping pills the doc gave me, and they are related
to vallium. No wonder I've been so vague! I still worry, but in a very
abstract way. No food or drink after midnight tonight. I wonder why
that always bothers me. I never eat after midnight! It's just that I
can't. Oh how I dislike those limitations. What if I wanted to?

I'm going to be mighty hungry when this is over, though. Surgery
isn't until 10 am, and I'm not done until 1:30 p.m. And I probably
will only be able to have juice and liquids for awhile. Then I'll wish
I ate after midnight. :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ready, set.....

I thought I was going to fight the cold off - it just never settled in.
Until last night. Sore throat and runny nose and much body aches
today. This is going to suck. I don't think it is bad enough to stop
the surgery. It is still a mild cold, as colds go. And maybe the pain
killers for that will make me forget the body aches. I'll have
plenty else to ache. Might as well get it all over with at once!

Checked in with the pre-op nurse at the surgery center today. The
doctor gave me some anti-anxiety sleeping pills that I started taking
last night. I did indeed sleep and they didn't make me groggy, but
I felt so "vague" when I woke up. Like I just couldn't tune in all day.
Weird. But I guess I wasn't anxious....

I started the pills for bruising today, as they want lots of that
in your system before they start. Then it is the anti-swelling meds,
the pain killers and the antibiotics. A medicinal wonderland of drugs.
So I guess I'm as ready as I can be. Hope the cold dies down
tomorrow, and I get all my work done. (Of course there is no way
to get all my work done, it is like cleaning - it is never done!)

Boy, there just is nothing interesting to say about being sick and
having surgery. Except for those first panic stricken moments
before they start, it will be a very boring 3 1/2 hours. What do
you do for that long while they are operating? No one ever has
surgery stories where they were captured by gorillas, or the
doctors had to fight off pirates while operating.....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Getting Ready

Today was a catch up and get ready day. Making sure everything is
taken care of before Thursday night. At work, making sure manuals
are corrected and tests are in order. At home, payed bills, went
through mail, did finances, filled prescriptions for drugs for Friday.
I'm as ready as I am going to be.

3 days to go, and really getting creeped out about the surgery. I
don't know why this one bothers me. I did fine through all the others.
Maybe because I know what I'm in for and I'm just not ready to
stop and heal for 2 to 3 weeks. This should be a busy, party time of
year - not lay down and take lots of pain pills time of year.

My friend from Japan is in town (the one we are going to see in
March), and I haven't managed to see him yet, hopefully tomorrow.
I'm glad Japan is looming on my personal horizon, it gives me an
"after" to the surgery. It is good to have a fun goal beyond that.
If that is all I had to look forward to, well, that would just suck!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I can't afford myself, when sick!

I took it pretty easy this weekend, trying to fight off the cold. It has
stayed pretty mild, mostly suffering from extreme tiredness.
Unfortunately I wandered into the kitchen, and with Cay and I both
being sick, the dishes were piled everywhere.

I put on my coat and went to the local closeout appliance store and
bought a dishwasher! The old one broke about a year ago, and I
thought, how hard is it to do the dishes? Well, when sick it becomes
a very low priority, so I got tired of dealing with it. It did involve
removing a cabinet to see if it would fit (stupid thing to do, with
our low energy). Since the old one was a portable that never
worked well, it seemed to me it was time to put in a built in one.

The dishwasher will arrive on Thursday, but I'm not sure when the
installer can come out. He has to run the water and electrical to it.
Hopefully before the end of the year, we will be free of the mundane
task of dish washing! I'm all for the machines doing it for me. Now
if I could just find a machine to clean the house.

Not much else. My lovely business cards for my show arrived, and
they are really nice. I just have to remember to hand them out...
Not likely. I can't even remember to take my work business cards
to customer sites, where they really want them so they can
remember who you are.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Crabby Cold

So the one thing I couldn't afford to do this week is get sick before
surgery, so of course I am sick. Cay got a cold last week and I've
been hoping I wouldn't get it. I went in to work today, and felt the
cold descend on me as I felt worse by the hour. Crabbiness!

Hopefully I'll feel better by Friday, everyone who has had the cold
says it is a pretty low grade one. I'd better feel better, not good to
go into surgery already run down! I also can't take any vitamins
or supplements to fight it off. I had to quit all that last Tuesday
so I wouldn't bleed too much. I can't even take aspirin and I have
quite the headache and feel all sore and achey. Bleah.

I went out with the gang from the old job last night, and had a great
time. Only three of them left there, we caught up with the one who
just went on to a new job. I still adore those guys and feel closer to
them than anyone I've ever met at any other job. I hope we all
have wonderful futures. We earned it! :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Huh? Where did the week go?

Good heavens! How did it get to be Thursday already? And where
have I been? I've just been working and sleeping, mostly. I didn't
even log onto my computer for days. Just didn't feel like it. I slept
for 10 hours last night and almost feel human today.

This afternoon we had enforced partyment at my bosses house.
It was actually a lot of fun. We really have been working too hard
and they decided we needed a break. We did!

I had my final pre-op appointment with the doctor on Tuesday and
I've been blessed as healthy and ready for surgery next Friday.
Nothing serious - just some more skin pulling-up and removal left
over from having lost over 100 lbs a few years back. But this involves
much cutting. I'm not so cool with the cutting....

It is kind of tough on you and there is lots of bruising and pain.
The recovery takes about 2 weeks. Then I have to start working out
again getting my walking legs back for Japan! Pooh, and I was just
making some headway in that department. Always starting over.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Philosophy 1101

After the last guy I interviewed mentioned Alan Watts, and Cayenne
has been bugging me to listen to Alan Watts lately, I finally listened
to one of his lectures that I had been carrying around on my ipod
for the last month.

He is indeed a most delightful lecturer. While I am not sure I agree
with him, he is definitely worth a listen. I'll have to fit a few more
lectures in. The only time I have to listen to anything is while I am
on the exercise bike or the treadmill, but that is good. If I am
hearing a good show, I exercise longer. (I usually try to catch up
on Cayenne's comedy podcast, but he has been so darned proliferous
over the last 2 years, I am only caught up through last June.)

For the kind of show I do, I really should be reading more philosophy.
The other one I try to read occasionally is William James. He has
excellent ideas, but it is hard to read for extended periods. I would
have liked it better if I could hear his lectures, but then he lived
100 years ago. I suppose I'll just have to read the books.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Muse with the red foam nose...

A leisurely morning, and then a foray to a mall. (I hadn't quite done
any Christmas shopping yet, and there were a couple of gifts that
I sorta had to buy and get shipped off to the east coast.) It is getting
kind of late for that.... no point in being proactive :)

It has been rather quiet this weekend. We haven't gotten any
email at all - a really unusual state of affairs. Considering Cayenne
and I get at least 50 emails or so a day, each - one can only assume
our internet server's email is down. But it saves lots of time,
that way. The email on Monday, when they fix the server will
be scary.

David came over and we talked about filming next weekend and
did some sketch writing for the video comedy show. The ideas
are starting to flow again; the muse has refreshed the well after
a 6 month vacation.

I'm trying to picture our muse. Probably has clown shoes and is
completely insane.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What it is like, not to be at work

I did an interview with a 67 year old man from the east U.S. It was a
lot of fun, he kept me on my toes! He has some wild ideas, and I
ended up throwing out most of my questions, and just tried to follow
where he was going.

Then a friend came over to play with our new Nintendo Wii console.
He was massively impressed with it, and had to try everything.
I whupped his butt at bowling. I really am a killer Wii bowler. So
funny. In real life, I am the "gutter ball queen!"

It was nearly 50 degrees out today, in December! We all kept going
outside to play with the dogs, just to be out there. Spectacular.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ah, the endless web....

I managed to while away most of the evening, designing and ordering
business cards on the web, for my Uncomfortable Questions podcast.
My, cards have come a long way since I last had them made at
Kinko's print shop for my short lived stained glass business.

It was really fun to pick out multiple colors (red, white, vivid blue and
teal on a black card), and do my own design! (o.k., Cayenne had to
help me with the logo - a microphone with sweat drops) - I'm not
that good an artist. But a little clip art, and his Photoshop touch, and
voila! A show logo!

I only bought 100 cards, in case I really blew it, but I can reorder -
(they save the design) - or re-edit the design or make an entirely
new one. Endless choice and shopping combined. I love the web!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Surgery Musings and Codeine Memories

Another day, another $1.50. O.k., they probably pay me more than
that. At least I hope they do! I've been making very painful headway
with AIX over the last month. It makes Linux look easy. I keep
poking at it while trying to do my real work. I don't suppose anyone
out there knows how to do persistent binding with AIX on a SAN?
No? Good. Neither do I....

Hmmm. What else? I have surgery in 2 weeks, and I try not to think
about it. It is minor but kind of tough-on-you surgery, and I try not
to dwell on the fact that they will be cutting me up while I'm awake.
I've had surgery awake, 3 times, in fact, but that was while I was
heavily sedated on happy drugs and had nerve blocks. This time,
none of that. I find myself thinking of it at night, and getting a
little freaked. I firmly make myself think about something else!

The recovery is supposed to take 2 full weeks, which is why I
scheduled it over our usual Christmas shutdown at work - would
give me 12 days without taking vacation. But of course, now there
is a crisis and they want me back in a week. I'm not even sure that
is possible. Unless they give me very, very good drugs. But all I'm
getting is Tylonol 3 (with codeine) because that is the only narcotic
painkiller I can tolerate without throwing up.

Id rather have codeine straight. When I was sick in Australia, I got
cough syrup laced with codeine and it made me a very happy person.
I didn't care a whit that I was sick. Of course when I was driving,
I calmly noted, "Gee, the highway is turning somersaults and
doing loop-de-loops!". They wouldn't let me drive after that....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Worth of Work

I made some headway at work (finally), and felt pretty good about it.
And that makes me laugh. I work hard, put all my time and a large
part of my life towards it, and I feel like I've done well!

But it really doesn't matter all that much, does it? It is just work.
It isn't love, or friendship, or enlightenment, happiness or health.
And yet it takes priority over all of that.

We will sacrifice our well-being, our time with friends or family,
our own interests in life, for that. But it is only work. It is just
something to do. Why do we do that? Just for money? Or is our
self-worth that tied up in our jobs?

I suppose your self-worth is measured by whatever it is you are
doing at the moment. Even if it is making a mud pie. Or building
a skyscraper. Humans! Go figure.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Winter Blahs

Ok. So winter really hasn't started. This week is the first real signs
of winter around here. It is 7 degrees out, and we had our first
visible dusting of snow this morning. I think we were hoping it
might forget to be winter this year. It certainly forgot to be
November.

Today was lots more of that working stuff, and getting home late.
Why is it that any car I have ever had, never has the heat kick in
until I am pulling up to my house. It doesn't matter if I live 30
minutes or 15 minutes from work, or what car I am driving -
always the same - no heat!

I want a heated snowmobile suit to wear on the cold, dark
drive home....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Did it!

New show is finally up! Get the Dan Interview at:
www.uncomfortable-questions.com.

He is a delight of Jewish angst :) I loved Dan, and he is local,
so I hope to see him again at one of my parties. He was given
his big break into his career as a record producer of stand-up
comedians by none other than my favorite comedian -
Lewis Black. Lewis has a delivery style that amazes me, if you
haven't seen him - see him!

Disconnected

I haven't written in a couple of days. I was trying to make today's
deadline at work....and didn't make it. I'm not going in today.
I was there for quite a bit yesterday, and now I'm all tired and
burnt out. If I don't take off today, I'll be worthless the rest of
the week. I have some sense of self preservation (though
probably not enough of it).

Obviously I have nothing new to report - just days of working
hard, and that is about it. Last night I did a little shopping looking
for a really warm pair of gloves. My hands have been numb from
the drive home at night and that is only at about 10 degrees.
It will only get colder from here! (I did find gloves - yay!).

Today I WILL edit the next U.Q. show and try to get it posted.
We also talked with David, and it looks like we are finally starting
to think about doing another video show of
Channel Surfing Wipeout. We took 6 months off from filming,
and we needed it. Hopefully the silly, creativity muse has returned!

The newspaper had an article yesterday about Musings on the
Soul. It was awful and lame. I could put together a better discussion
on people's thoughts about what the soul is. Maybe I'll do that for
my show with my audience. I know they could be more interesting!