Sunday, December 30, 2007

Out with the old germs, in with the new!

What can I say about being sick?

I lay on the couch all day yesterday and read comic books and
played video games. Free license to be a full blown kid! Actually,
I don't need a license, I do that kind of thing, even when I'm not
sick. The only difference is I don't feel guilty about not exercising
or working on the house.

I'm pretty disappointed that I probably won't go out for New Years,
and it has put the kibosh on me finishing the drawers and closet
cleaning and organizing that I has started.

Maybe I get sick at New Years, so the rest of the year seems
better in comparison. (Also makes me not care about making any
silly New Years Resolutions, other than getting healthy).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Not Again!

I can't believe it, I'm sick again!
This is at least the 5th time this year. My colds always are
2 weeks long, meaning I'll have lost 10 weeks this year to
being sick. Isn't that too much? Is it because I went out on
Christmas Eve? Can't I even leave my house without getting sick?

I don't get it. Until about 2 years ago, I almost never got
colds. Now I can't seem to not get them. What the heck is
going on with my system? I eat well, I take handfuls of vitamins
every day, I exercise, I keep my blood glucose levels low - and
nothing seems to stop this! Eventually shouldn't I have immunities
to everything? I can't even think of anything more I can do to
stay healthy. I work really hard at it already, because of the
diabetes, I've tried to do everything right.

I had a scratchy throat yesterday, and while I felt fine until
this evening, I now have full blown laryngitis, and I feel tired
and yucky. My glorious vacation! Felled on the last 4 days.
I had four places to go for New Years Eve, too. Pooh. I may
end up spending it on the couch. Again. Maybe that is my New
Years tradition.

Time for a new tradition.... :(

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time staggers on

I'm in day 6 of of my 11 days off already! Waaaaah!
When did doing a lot of nothing become so attractive in my life?

I am absolutely delighted to not have to be anywhere, go anywhere,
and to go to bed late and sleep in late. I'm having a wonderful
time. I don't remember at what point that became more fun than
rushing around to tons of parties, and being constantly busy.
I guess I am getting old.

Speaking of old, the dog just got back from the heart checkup
at the vet. He is responding extremely well to the medicines.
The diuretics drained all the fluid in his abdomen, and he went
from 46 to 38 pounds - all of it was the bloated fluid. (The
downside is we have to let him out about once an hour.)

His enlarged heart was beating at 190 beats per minute when they
diagnosed his heart problem, but the 2 kinds of heart medicine
really helped. Today it was down to 110 beats per minute, so his
heart isn't laboring anymore. I guess I don't begrudge the $99 a
bottle heart medicine (at least until I have to buy the next
bottle...) I have to get 2 kinds of ointment for his raw patches
around his eyes and on his side, too. 6 kinds of medicine for the
old boy.

But it looks like the old curmudgeon dog will be with us a bit
longer. He's as perky and demanding as he ever was. ("Let me out,
feed me, give me treat, pet me, give me another treat!") But I
would miss the pushy b*stard.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The front yard on Christmas Eve


My view as I type this (except you can't see the snow)

Christmas at my house

Christmas Eve was started at a lively Jewish party, and
ended in a quiet Lesbian bar where a friend of ours was
hosting Karaoke. We sang into the night with him, his
sister and her husband, and his ex wife. All of our
favorite people who we partied with quite a lot this year.
A handful of the cutest Lesbians played pool in the
background and wandered up to sing. It was a lot of fun.
I do end up in the strangest places, and always feel
right at home.

Now it is Christmas day, and we did something almost traditional
this morning. Cay and I put together my new (exercise) bike.
Lots of swearing and Vaseline was involved (we couldn't find
the WD-40 to make the bolts go in). I like to imagine that
morning scene was replicated all over the country.

As I type this, one of the cats is asleep by the fire in the
wood stove, and really soft fluffy snow is drifting by the
window. A cacophony of weird voices and screaming is floating
down the stairs.

Cay is recording his last show of his "Advent Calender of
Comedy" shows. (www.tekdiff.com). It
sounds like there are 20 people upstairs, but it is all him.
I forget that when I listen to his show. He even says he
forgets they are all him, when he hears his show!

I posted my show last night and it has already gotten a
respectable number of downloads. I guess not everyone is
too busy at Christmas time. This show is a question for the
audience "Are we here to experience the me, or transcend the me?"
Get it at www.uncomfortable-questions.com.

We had scrambled eggs and mushrooms for lunch. Dinner,
I'm not so sure - I think we forgot to buy anything for
Christmas dinner, and the stores are all closed. Oh well,
I think there are some Chinese restaurants open.

This is a typical Christmas day in my world.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Traditional Christmas Eve?

Today the sun came out, so we felt like getting out - in spite
of fears that it would be crazy out there with last minute
shoppers. Strangely enough it was pretty quiet. Had no problem
going to Sears, where we saw a sale and bought ourselves
socks and underwear, believe it or not! Hey, we needed some.

Then we went to a sporting goods store and found a replacement
exercise bike for me. Mine has been mostly broken for some time
(it will only work at Level 2), and the doc wants me to do
biking for exercise. So I got a really nice one. I still hope
it will exercise for me, and I can nap on the couch....

And for a lovely early dinner, we had Chicken Nuggets at Wendy's.
Isn't that traditional Christmas fare?

Now we are getting ready to go out to Jewbilee - a Jewish party
at our favorite bar, with Karaoke and free Chinese food. My kind
of Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Snow Bunnies from H*ll

It is doing some serious snowing out there. It was only supposed
to be an inch or so, but it turned into about 5 inches so far,
and it is blowing horizontally at times. Undaunted, the roommate
went off to buy a bed, and Cay and I are going to go cook
Sukiyaki for our friend Joel at his place.

Hey it's Christmas, you are supposed to go out there, and shop
or something. Weather be darned!

We all slept in really late today, such a rare and wonderful thing.
Then Cay and I each worked on our separate shows - he is doing
a daily "Advent Calendar" of comedy for 25 straight days on
www.tekdiff.com - very entertaining, check it out! I'll record
the rest of my show tomorrow and put it up.

I'm loving this time off from work, but 2 days are already gone.
I hate that part.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Yeah, so I have a heart problem, can I have a cookie?"

Free as a bird

Yes, I am on my glorious Christmas break. I don't have to do anything
until January 2nd. I'm not quite reconciled to that fact yet. I'm not
quite sure what to do with myself.

One of the computer hard drives died last night - it was an old
120 GB external drive. So Cay braved the Christmas shoppers
to go find another one. I thought of going, but opted to stay
home an do absolutely nothing.

All the drives that MicroCenter had in their flyer were gone. He
found one remaining open box one for $103. It is a 500 GB drive,
which seems roomy (until we load up our itunes music library....)
Someday I want a 1 Terra Byte drive - just because. I used to think
1 TB drives were unimaginably huge and cool.

I'm due to put another show up - I have a 15 minute late answer
to the "What is the Universe" show and an idea for a new subject
that I can talk about. So the Christmas show will be the guests
from the two shows before Christmas, 2 years ago - Herb (show #24)
and Me (show #25). I guess that is interestingly circular. I hope it isn't
because it is closure, and that this becomes my last show! We will
see if I get any responses to this upcoming show, I suppose. I'm
not sure how to get the new idea to catch on.

People either respond, or they don't. It seems most people don't
want to talk about things anymore. (Which is kind of why I started
the show in the first place!) I was really hoping to get some
conversations started. I wonder why it is that people don't talk much
anymore. Who are all those people on the web?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What? It isn't Monday?

How can it be Thursday? There was a whirlwind crisis project at
work, and then 2 days in training, and somehow it it Thursday.
It felt like 1 day since my last post.

So medical science has stabilized my family. The Cortisone is
working, and I am walking with much less pain. The dog is on
2 kinds of heart medicine and 2 kinds of diuretics. Oh and some
arthritis medicine. One of his heart medicines costs $99 !!!!
There goes any Christmas money I had. I guess it saves me from
shopping for presents.

Cay and I bought a few DVD's and that was our Christmas presents
to ourselves. Just to diagnose the dog, and his ultrasound cost
about $600. And his medicines run me about $150 a month. I keep
telling him, he had better be worth it, but he ignores me and
asks for another dog biscuit.

One more day of work and then my glorious 11 day Holiday break
begins!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The dog and I are better?

The old dog (not me - the DOG) seems better this weekend.
His tests just showed an enlarged heart but not necessarily DMC,
which they thought it was. He goes in for an ultrasound on
Monday, to see if is tumors or something. The diuretics are
helping drain the excess fluid out of his abdomen (and we have
to let the poor thing out to pee every couple of hours.)

My heel seems better from the Cortisone shot, so I am feeling
optimistic, that I'll be getting around more, real soon now.

To keep off my foot, I've spent most of the weekend on the couch,
playing the videogame Xenosaga III. It has a really involved
story, and it keeps me occupied.

One more week of work and then I get 11 whole days off! (We close
over the week between the holidays). It sounds like some kind of
little heaven.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Old person and old dog - all things medical

Well, I've been limping along (literally!). The MRI came out fine,
ankle tendons look good, even the transferred one from 4 years
ago. I got a cortizone injection into the heel for the inflamed
tendon there. Now it hurts worse than when I went in today :(

The toes might need surgery, but we are just trying padding them
for now, to see if the heel problem resolves from the cortizone.
Hopefully that will fix my limp, so the ankle will stop hurting,
leaving only one problem to deal with.

I asked the doc about walking for exercise again. He said "um,
how do you feel about biking?". Sigh. This doesn't look promising,
in the near term for my ambitions to travel.

Then the old dog has had this weird cough, so we took him in.
He has an enlarged heart and his abdomen is filling up with
fluid. They ran a lot of tests on him, and we are waiting to hear
back on the results. This could be expensive! He is pretty happy
and alert, so I hope it is somewhat treatable. I don't think he
is ready to exit left gracefully, yet. Hear! Hear! I can relate.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MRI's suck, but not as much as some things...

I have been MRI'ed. I remember now why I hate them so much.
I forgot they involve getting an IV with contrast dye put in
your veins. I am a wonder child for people who need to give
IV's. They can't find my veins. Anywhere. They don't know
why I am alive.

They failed in my hand, after leaving a nice bruise, and
started on my arm and finally succeeded. Then they find the
most uncomfortable position possible and tell you NOT TO
MOVE AT ANY COST, OR THEY'LL HAVE TO START OVER. Then the
loud, annoying machine starts and it goes on for 45 minutes.
All the while as your body is cramping up, you are chanting
to your self "don't move, don't move, don't move, or this
won't end!"

The nurse made a mistake on one panel and had to run it again -
another 8 minutes without moving. Then she put the pressure
bandage on my arm so tight that my arm turned kinda purple
and bruised all over. So they kept me even longer to make
sure I was all right. At last it is over, I'm home, and
I'm going to go eat some comfort food.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Stasis in B minor

As the weekend draws to a close, I'm sad to see it go
(again). I am feeling much more rested, but I know it is
back into the fray tomorrow.

The MRI on my ankle is on Tuesday, and I see the doctor
again on Friday, where we will lay out a plan to get me
walking again without pain. I did a lot of research this
weekend, and it does seem that it will involve surgery.
I don't think some of it can be fixed without it. Pooh!

I really need something more fun than that to look forward
too. All that is ahead of me in the near term, is a lot
of work, a lot of pain and recovery, and a long cold winter.
Not the most inspiring of scenarios....

I need to come up with a fun goal, but until I know I can
walk more, I think I'll wait on deciding on a trip.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Frozen Solitude

The guys went off to a party for the T.V. show they work on.
I wasn't going to go out there!

I am huddled under a blanket on the couch, next to the wood
stove, unable to get warm. I wonder if working too hard
throws off your temperature control? Granted, it is only
4 degrees out, but I'm a Minnesotan. I should scoff at such
a trivial temperature! Instead, I can't wait to go to bed
under my electric blanket. Wuss!

I made it to the weekend with stunned relief. Work is too
much, I'm glad to not be there, struggling to figure out how
to get it all done. My life is reduced to 5 days of frantic
racing, followed by 2 days where I come to a complete stop.
And repeat.

When you are in the thick of it, you just keep going as fast
as you can. When you're out of it, when the brain cools down,
(mine has permanent speed stripes) the thoughts start creeping
in - "Why the heck am I doing this? Is this a good life? Is
this what I wanted out of it?"

As long as I'm in this industry, this job is as good as any
I've had. But man what an industry. The money is sweet, but
oh, at what a price, physically and mentally. Bah! I'm just
being crabby. I think I have to go on another business trip,
but I'm so blasted tired.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Where the heck?

Sooooooo tired.
I'm really blowing my resolve to write every day.

We had several more inches of snow, and a very tough
commute home last night. It's supposed to snow again
tomorrow. And Saturday. A real winter, indeed.

Work is out of hand. The snow is out of hand. I nearly
got sent to Poughkeepsie this coming week, but I may
be able to call into the training for 2 days.
Good. I'm too tired to do another trip, already.

Is it Christmas yet?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Undeniable - its Winter


Winter slumber

I feel a bit less stressed, but it is probably due to it being
the weekend. This will probably go away, as I go back to work
tomorrow.

I have such a love/hate relationship with work. I really do like
my job, and I'm pretty good at it. On the other hand, I can't do
a bad job (and still respect myself), so I take on too much and
worry about it too much. I've been dreaming a lot lately of what
it would be like to not have to work, and to be independently
wealthy. But it is just a dream, I don't have a way to make that
happen.

Yesterday morning, you could still see the grass, and it was still
slightly green, so in spite of the cold temperatures, it was easy
to deny that it was really winter. Then it snowed about 3-4 inches
yesterday and now it is really full blown winter. This snow will
stay, it wont be warm enough to melt off, probably until March.
I haven't actually gone outside yet, since it snowed. Maybe I can
pretend it is just a moving picture outside my windows....

Tomorrow I go see the foot specialist, and see if what is wrong
with my ankle and foot that is keeping me from walking much these
days. It is making it hard to exercise, and to get around.

I still dream of going to London next year, and I am determined
to do what it takes to get walking again. There has to be a way,
hopefully one that doesn't involve another round of surgery on it.
I've gone a whole year with no surgery, and I definitely prefer it
that way!