22 December 2012

second term

Poof! After clocking 33 days in the hospital, I'm back in bed in the living room. Whee. Everything went well (quite unlike the last attempt) and I'm doing just fine, so it's time to... Well, it's time to keep waiting a little while longer. Later - typing is a bit tricky at this angle.

09 November 2012

oh, pine

Hey! Quick just-went-to-the-doctor update: it's time for surgery again. Since the current proposed plan is the same surgery and recovery procedure with the same doctor, which *understatement alert* did not go particularly well the first time, I will be thoroughly second-opinioning this endeavor. Rather than speculating schedules, I'll leave it at that. Caution: further details may emerge without warning.

I don't have time to get into modular arithmetic, so I suppose that's all! Antonio: 98x9 = two fewer nines than 100 nines = 900-9-9 = 882.

PS: Life of Pi is about a dude and some wild animals in a boat. Don't get your math hopes up.

17 September 2012


four years gone, and no amount of pretending has attenuated... anything

(yes, that's jarmstro back there)

12 September 2012


Hey there! Just wanted to let you know the outcome of my trip to the doctor was toootally* different this time! Spoiler alert: footnote on that one = "not really at all." They acknowledged that my their-fault wound was 99% done; they hacked away at my other semi-new problem area; they told me to come back in 6-8 weeks. So we've gone from "come back in two months" to "come back in almost two months" - yay? It's good to know I'm sorta-kinda-almost healed, but this whole ordeal has been and continues to be extremely frustrating. jlink vs. the world and such. Ugh.

28 August 2012


Hey there, chums! Arbitrary-length summer break is over, I suppose. Back to "work!"

First up, I've actually been sort of putting off updates in order to keep my Stephvertisement front and center. Show's over now, so we can move on. She did quite well, BTW - no luck on the $250k prize, but hey, 92.857142% [repeating, period 6] naïve likelihood for that. However, she did walk away with a vacation, a fat stack of cash, and plenty of dignity! Early in the competition she won a trip to Las Vegas through one of the contestants' games. Posh, eh? Then, when there were six people left, there was a "challenge" that [details omitted] offered them all various sums of money to walk out and let a previously-evicted contestant rejoin the competition. After quite a few fairly small values were offered, Steph finally opted to take the cash and leave... Pocketing $37,600! Cha-ching. Quite valuably as well, she pocketed all of her dignity - she left by her own volition, rather than being voted out; she never even "went into limbo" (essentially the show's equivalent of "almost voted out.") So, way to go on pretty much sweeping second place, Grand Master Steph.

Elsewhere, you're likely aware that my health has been the mayor of Bummerville lately. The update on that front is more of the same; my physical status is so slowly improving, there's little inspiration to hop on here and attempt to make the same "still sucks" post entertaining. As of a week or few ago, my main wound (the one they created by screwing up a suture in surgery, grrr) is fragile but healed. Yay for that. Unfortunately, when one thing gets better, another part gets worse. Now I have some mysterious, possibly-infected area near the previous wound. Ugh. I can't win.

I do have an appointment in a few days with the main doctor dealing with all this stuff, so we'll see how that goes. Expectations are not exactly in the clouds.

That's all for now. Gotta get back into writing mode - so many introverted thought blobs to be turned into extroverted word blobs! Such is the fun of it. l8r!

10 June 2012


Hey there, hooligans! I'm boring, but this is not.

There's a particularly interesting reality show coming down the tubes in about a week. It's called "The Glass House," and it's a sort of Sims-like premise: a bunch of people live in a literally-transparent house, and you get to watch them live, interact and be rude to each other, reality-style. The Sims-esque trick is that "you," the viewers, get to dictate their every move, down to what they wear and eat, where they sleep, and who knows what else! Don't forget the vote-off-the-island part, with a twist... Sounds frightening to me, but hey, I'm not on it.

However, my sister-in-law and perpetual awe-inducer Stephanie is! She's taking some time off from her amazing life to go be amazing on national TV, in the run to pick up a comfy $250k. I haven't looked at everyone's videos and such yet, but compared to the other tools contestants, I'd say Steph is the appropriate balance of real-yet-surreal, and easily worth the recognition (and a heaping pile of cash.)

So, here's what to do. Right this second, go to ABC's "The Glass House" page, read up on and watch videos of all the participants, and choose your obvious favorite, Steph. Brush up on the show concept, rules, etc., as well. Then unclog your Twitter pipe and reactivate your Facebook account - wait, I'm the only one left who sucks at social networking? - because in a day or two you can start voting to micromanage everyone's lives. If you're ever wondering what you should choose, Steph's friends have a plan for her behavior. Then, just watch the show at 9pm (central), Mondays on ABC (starting June 18) and vote pro-Steph when prompted! Be sure to watch it live and participate real-time so your votes count. Sorry, DVR pals.

There you go. ABC, Mondays, 9pm CDT. Enjoy, tell everyone you know, and do everything you can to score the Steph some dollar bills and major fame!

(Oh no, did I just endorse a reality TV show? Yikes.)

30 April 2012


Two. More. Months.

That's the summary of today's doctor's appointment. Two more months trapped in bed before I see the man again. Two more months until getting back into the chair is even up for consideration. Two more months (minimum) with these stupid tubes and holes. Two more months of living in the living room.

So much for 2012. What a year to steal from me - it's been so abnormally warm, I could have gone out for exercise in March! Instead I'm here rotting away, watching it all go by. No new place, no new job; nothing.


20 April 2012


Hey there! You may have noticed that there's an extra link or two at the bottom of each page on my überjournal now. A few days ago, I enabled the display of "backlinks" on all the posts (past, present, an future) throughout my entire blog. What it's supposed to do is show what pages out there on the indeed-worldwide webification have linked to my posts. Of course, I don't know exactly how Google has implemented this feature, and whether/if backlink inclusion will be automatic or require extra work.

If it's automatic (hopehopehope!), hooray! Sit back, click around and enjoy the connectedness of teh interwebs as you see what crazy sites have honored me with a clickable mention.

If their backlink inclusion is manual... Bummer. We have gobs of work to do! I have little better to do these days than to vainly crawl the web in search of pages funneling readers to me, but I need your help here. If you know of or find a web page that links to me (especially if it points to a specific post), please please PLEASE head back to my site and the post that's been linked to, scroll down to "Links to this post", click "Create a link", and proudly share your discovery with all of us!

As always - and particularly emphatically this time - I request questions, comments, pro- and/or anti-backlinking commentary, and especially lectures, additions, corrections and insight on the topic at hand (especially if you can fill us in on how the Goog runs its flavor of backlinking, and what we should expect.)

Until next time... Keep up the awesome.

13 April 2012


Hey there! I'm admittedly a few days late, but check it out, it's been a whopping four years since I had my stem cell self-transplant to help out with this whole spinal cord injury thing. Awesome. It's been grand. No sarcasm there, either.

Four years later, I still run across folks on occasion who try to project or implicate feelings of guilt, regret, disappointment, bitterness, etc., upon me about undergoing this procedure. I'm not running marathons or typing a million words a minute, so why did I even bother?

For these trolls brilliant chums, let's just cover one of the fundamental forces affecting my reality: gravity. Quadriplegia isn't a mosquito bite, a scraped knee, or even a broken arm. This is pretty huge. Huge, as in, on the bizarre rainbow arcing between "dead" and "alive and well," I was awfully close to the rigor mortis end. If we're going with the marathon analogy, I could barely stumble across the starting line.

That was pre-surge. After the stem cell surgery, a ton of therapy/rehabilitation, and simply the passage of time post-op, well, wow. Waaay more has improved in these four years than in those first three[ish] years pre-Portugal. Note that that's backwards: as time passes, progress is supposed to slow, such that I should have been seeing less improvement, not more. So, I may not be 110% "alive and well," but I'm much closer to that pot of gold than I would have been by now sans-op. According to our clumsy abstract marathon analogy, I can at least run the first mile thanks to surgical magic. That's not so disappointing after all.

15 March 2012


Yesterday's weather: searingly sunny, with a record-setting high of 87ish F. That's wonderfully warm for March; what a rocking day it would have been for a push around town.

Oh, wait.

What was supposed and promised to happen was this sequence:

--Go to hospital.
--Have preparatory procedures.
--Wait a few days.
--Undergo main operation.
--Spend four to six more weeks recovering in the hospital.
--Go home via ambulance.
--Spend a slooowly increasing number of minutes upright daily/weekly.
--After a few months, be "back to normal."
--Unicorns and rainbows!

I checked in Dec 12 and went through the main procedure on the 27th, so I should have been home and getting back to life by mid-February. By now, I could have managed a little jaunt up and down East Main. Or, at least a shower, right?


They didn't close one of the main incisions properly, so less than 48h after the procedure, I had a 6" x 1.5" open wound. Awesome. Sprinkle some insurance debauchery on top, and reality warped into this mess:

--Go to hospital.
--Have preparatory procedures.
--Wait a few days.
--Undergo main operation.
--Have main operation fall apart.
--Start treating new wound.
--After ~6wks, let insurance declare my situation no longer worthy of hospitalization (way to go, Aetna "doctor")
--Go home Feb 9 on complete bed rest w/rented fancybed, wound v.a.c., extraneous tubes and holes, and MWF nurse visits.
--After 3wks, go back to doctor for assessment.
--Continue complete bed rest and head back to the doctor in 8wks.
--ASPCA commercials and obituary sections.

That brings us up to date. Instead of anything remotely promising or optimistic, I have a half-healed wound and the stupid vac, there are still tubes and holes in me that doctors promised would be removed/reversed before leaving the hospital, and atrophy is taking over no matter how I exercise. I'm counting down the days until early May - that's more than four months after surgery! - when the doc will pass judgment on my condition again.

What a load of garbage. Some complications are always expected with such major medical excursions, but this is far from a "complication." What if I had had a job? I wouldn't anymore! That's probably lawsuit territory. It would have at least taken the edge off if anyone had offered anything resembling an apology, but everyone was full of excuses and even jokes. Pretty funny situation, huh.

Speaking of taking the edge off, commence pain management mini-rant. Dear "Pain Team," you're more than willing to give me 40mg of oxycodone at a time, but the 1mg IV/injection is a no-no because I'm "abusing" it to "get high?" To start, I missed the part where I was having "fun" side effects [from any of the meds], unless effective pain relief was the unacceptable result. Further, am I somehow going to abuse medicine that I have to ask for every time? Anyway, the conclusion is that many people set a plan in stone before starting, put on the blinders, and stay the course regardless of success or failure. Thus, we're using bigger and bigger chainsaws, when what I really need is a pair of scissors.

Okay. End fury. I made it through with no expletives! However, I did leave out at least as much info as I included... Hmph. Tune in next time for something irrelevant.

29 February 2012

ex post

Hey all... Back!

Severely belated new year's wishes to you, and a slightly less tardy "out of the hospital" declaration from me; I've been back in cville for a number of days, and there have been many tasks waiting to be accomplished. Life moves slowly when trapped in bed. Anyway, there is plenty of info to be shared and suppressed anger to be vented - note foreshadowing in that last sentence - but I have some appointments approaching in the next few days, so I'll postpone and lump everything together...

Stay tuned!