Wednesday, August 20, 2008

testing all kinds of stuff

so I am sitting in my doctors office waiting to have an injection into my spinal column. We are testing the idea that my pain is in part due to the swelling and pressure post surgery. We shall see if it makes a difference.

Another test was this afternoon, tearing apart my laptop and putting in a larger hard drive. It was the first time I have attempted deep hardware repAirs in over a year and honestly it was not that comfortable. My back does not hinge in the normal ways so maybe being a hardware tech is not in the cards.

And the last test today? Blogging from the iphone. Seems to work ok but I wouldn't want this to be my only means of update

Well that is all for now. Gotta go play super monkey ball

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This and that...

So I have been meaning to update my blogs for a while, and I post both here and on Myspace, but I forgot my password to log into this blogger site, so for about a month I have been testing passwords until they locked me out for a few days. Then it would let me try some more. Yeah, I have too many passwords floating around. Anyway, I got logged in tonight, and have too many things I want to post, so I guess one of the best ways to cover all of the subjects would be a quick synapsis of things, and write until the pain pills and muscle relaxers kicks in.

-So yesterday I went to the college and got registered. Next week I am going to take the "your so far removed from highschool, you need to take this test to make sure your not in charge of the short bus." test. Reading, writing, and math. I really am not worried about it, hell if I can figure out the proper way to discharge a CRT, and pass an exam about it, I am pretty sure I can figure out what time the bus will get to Denver while going 60 miles per hour. I am considering a career as a Physical Therapy Assistant. Its a 2 year plan. I would like to think I have the drive to keep going after getting my degree and going for a masters in Sports Medicine or something.

-Well suffice it to say based on the above statement, my employer, Apple, fired me for being out for over a year. Man I just realized that I have lived in fear of saying where I actually work. See we were told that if we ever mention the company in a blog, we could be terminated. Well, Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple, retail. HA!

-Speaking of Apple (I can't stop!!!) I have been a bit amazed at the new iPhone frenzy stuff going on lately. The new software on the old phone is pretty freaking cool. I love the applications, like poker, AIM, and Twitterriffic. I just can not believe they have reached a point of running out in the stores of the new models. I just don't need a GPS unit that badly.

-Also speaking of Apple (See!!!) I have decided I am going to test the water by offering my services as a consultant. I obviously have high skills with the Mac, but am also very well versed with the PC, networks, printers, and tin cans tied together with string. I need to get some business cards made, and start passing them out like candy to see what happens. Any advice in doing this would be great.

-I am currently going to PT 3 times a week. Its actually not too bad, most of my stuff is pool and whirlpool based. I half expected pool exercises would be simple, and like a vacation. Yeah right. I work my ass off.

-Tuesday night I was going out to the car to get something around 10PM. Someone had delivered the new phone books for our area, and the cover was kind of a black color. I managed to step onto said book, and roll my ankle and foot. I tried to hold myself up with the storm door, but it just opened to the wall, and I then fell forward. Rolling in an attempt to protect my back and hips, I half land on a 5 gallon water bottle before hitting the sidewalk. Imagine my suprise when my hips and back hurt like hell. I am such an idiot. But see I figure as much as I get hurt, being a physical therapist might be a great career for me, since I don't know how to get a career that allows me to live and work inside a padded room, short of being crazy, or crazier than I already am.

I had more stuff to write about, but the drugs are starting to work, and I'm forgetting stuff. Mabe I can keep up with the password this time, and post more later. Until then, Apple!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I can has memories?

Forgive me, this is a little late.

On March 28th, I got a text message in return from my mother. I had asked how she was feeling, since she had the flu. The reply was

“Getting better slowly,-Hazel Kitty died”

When I was about 13 or 14, my kid sister was playing down the street with one of the neighbor kids. They both stormed into the house on a Saturday morning with a pillowcase that was mewling and bobbing around. I took it from them and reached into the bag and pulled out a under weight Russian Blue kitten of about 2 months old. She had brilliant blue eyes and was cute as could be. The story we were told was that someone’s dad was not only allergic to cats, he was also a hateful bastard, and was going to take the pillow kitty out to the creek and throw it in. My sister stepped forward, and asked for the cat. She was only 5 or 6, but knew right from wrong (then).

Hazel took to me and began sleeping in my room. She would lounge on my, and was pretty much my cat. She managed to survive my sister, who would dress her up in outfits, and pretty much make her miserable, and she survived an attack by the neighbor dog later in life.

When I left for the Marines, she would sit in my bedroom window, like she was waiting on me to get home.

Later in life, after I was married, she lived in my house for a while as my parents looked for work, but was nearly driven insane by the insane dog we had at the time.

Hazel loved turkey, chicken, and all things meat related. We would bring home scraps from restaurants, and she knew to check my mom’s purse. Her favorite meal was hotwings, even with the spicy sauce.

As she got older, she was not healthy looking, and having had cancer removed from her forepaw about 12 years ago, it may have not been the only cancer she had. But each time I saw her, she was quick to come say hi, and my son got to know her, and fed her chicken at times.

I have 2 cats now, Scout and Dewey, and they often remind me of Hazel. I hope they have long lives filled with snacks and snuggles like Hazel did, despite her rough start in life.

A Little EWWWW for your cheerios

So we have a puppy. His name is Logan, and he is a holy terror. Not only does he insist on chewing up anything and everything, he still acts less than housebroken. We have done every possible thing to break him of going in the house, including having him spend the majority of his time outside, but he hold it until he can get back in to pee in the house. Each morning we spend 20 minutes running around looking for spots, and cleaning them up. Which brings us to this morning.

Mikey woke up 45 minutes before the alarm, and was exceptionally hyper. I am sure the Frosty I let him have for breakfast was not helping, but when a picky eater asks for anything, you give in, especially with a pain killer brain.

So after "breakfast" I asked him to pick up his toys, because I did not want Logan to eat them for his breakfast. Mikey spent 5 minutes sprinting around the house, picking up his beloved Marvel mini figures. At one point, on a trip with the silver surfer, I heard a thud and crash, followed immediately by a wail and scream.

Mikey had slipped in one of Logan's "spots" and hit the wall with his toe as he came crashing down. He only had a little pee on his jammies, so I took them off of him, put them in the hamper and went to get some clothes. He informed me he could not go to school cause his toe was too "hurted".

As I was heading back to my bedroom where the injured was considering amputation, I heard the following one sided conversation.

M:" Logan no. Logan you pee too much. Its cause of you that I fell down and hurt myself. Logan, get away from me, you might pee on me!"

Trust me, its a fear we all have. Rest assured the foot is ok, and healing nicely.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And so it goes...

July 23rd, 2007 I had spinal fusion done on the L5/S1 vertebrae in my back. A few months later, after having a miracle-like recovery, I started noticing that I had pain in my hip causing my right leg to turn out, and some pain in my butt. The doctor put me on nerve pain drugs to assist, and kept my flow of pain killers coming.

After several months of testing including CT scans with dye injected into my spinal column (painful and not at all fun way to spend a few hours), MRIs, More CT scans, Nerve response testing (needles inserted into the muscles of my legs and back and then electronically charged) I had something this week called a discogram. This involves taking me (wide awake and no pain drugs or food for 6 hours before hand) into a room, inserting needles into my L2-3,3-4,4-5 discs, the applying pressure with dye and electrical stimulation. If I felt the pain I normally do, on a greater scale, I could tell the doctor and he makes the notes. I feel like the pain involved with that test is one of the most uncomfortable procedures a person should go through, and this was my second one in less than a year.

Yesterday, the back surgeon showed us the results of the tests, and the level above my previous surgery has blown out. On the film, a normal disc looks like a small barrel, sitting and holding my vertebrae apart and being stoic. The disc in question looked like a jelly donut (mmmm jelly donut) that someone has stepped on. All the insides were pushing out on both sides. Since the disc sits next to your nerve system, a herniated or bulging disc can put pressure on your nerves, that is what is causing the knife like pain in my butt, not just my kid sister. It explains why the nerves in my knees are close to dead, and why I can sit for 5-10 minutes in a chair or car seat before my feet go numb. Novocain numb. So with this information, the doctor gave me two options. One was to continue my life as it is, with pain killers and nerve drugs, and hope one day to feel normal, or two, have surgery.

My quality of life to this point is anything but. I cannot sleep well, since I toss and turn, twist wrong in the bed and wake up in a cold sweat with pain. I cannot function enough to go to work, so I have spent the last 10 months watching reruns and the Ellen show. My job was filled about 3 months ago, so I don’t really even have something to go back to. I cannot do much around the house, other than laundry, and even that is taxing with all the bending and stuff. I can not even play wiffle ball with the baby, as much as he loves the outdoors and sports in general.

So on the 19th of this month, in 18 days, I am having a pretty drastic surgery. They will go in the back and fuse the next level of my spine after removing the damaged disc. Then they flip me over and go in near my navel and do the rest of the work. So more hospital time, more recovery time, and more physical therapy are on the horizon. I just cannot wait.

I am going to stop here, but soon I am going to tell you, constant reader, about my journey into trying to get medication to help me through this. Its filled with laughter, tears, and psychotherapy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You see my friends have this thing they do on the 12th of each month in their blog, called the 12 of 12. I had been planning on doing one all month, and then realized today that it was the 13th. Doh. I only took one photo yesterday anyway, of my new fancy walking cast for my stress-fractured foot.

Once I realized I had missed the 12 of 12 photo journal day, I decided to keep a running diary of my day. So here we go.

What is a C: drive?

7:30a.m.-Damn, it’s early. With the Dog kicking my broken foot with his puppy dream kicks last night, I barely slept.

8:00-Mikey will not eat his oatmeal, he is too busy watching cartoons, but each time I try and feed him, he yells at me that that is how babies eat. Too damn early for logic.

8:05-Doorbell. Eff. The pest control guy is here. What in the hell? He wants to spray inside the house. Mikey is still not eating, but showing off his cartoons for the guy.

8:22-barely make it to his school before they start. I get some sideways glances from one of the assistant teachers, but I think she is a bitch anyway, so I am not worried about it. Mikey gives me a thumbs up through the door, so he is good.

8:30-Back home, and meeting with a technical recruiter this morning, preparing myself for not being able to return to retail work. The back, the foot, the holidays, I just have my doubts. I have to get into the shower, but bug guy is back there. Hello????

8:47-Ok, he has sprayed back there, I may die of fumes, but I need a shower and have to be in downtown by 10, and already heard there is a traffic jam right in my way.

9:00-Done, and almost dressed. Man that has to be a record.

9:12-I think I need coffee and food. Micky D’s is on my “I have to loose weight” diet today, so I stop for a McGriddle and Coffee. So does everyone else. Crap.

9:50-Some ASSHAT in a white Toyota Camery, 1992 model, has parked in the handicapped spot in front of the building. Normally I don’t use Ali’s card, but with a cast and a cane, and recent back surgery, I use it when I can. But apparently someone who has no card, plates or anything else other than a 500 gallon orange drink has parked in that spot. I would key it or whack it with my cane, but it would only increase the resale value of the car at this point.

10:15-I am informed I have to do a tech analysis on the computer system to see how knowledgeable I am on computers. They give me 30 minutes, and its multiple choice. The first question is “What is a C: drive?”

10:21-Ok done with the test. That was kind of dumb. Ok really dumb.

10:48-Back out on the road. The recruiter had nothing for me today, other than to tell me I scored higher on her test that anyone in the past 6 months. Mentioned a job with a sanitation company, installing systems in the Southwest region, from Kansas south. Ummm no. Thanks though.

11:30-back home, make an appointment for a iPhone visit at the Apple store, since my phone has stopped ringing and going straight to voicemail, and is hot enough to keep my coffee warm.

12:20-Talk to Ali on IM, who tells me she is going to be in southlake having lunch, and maybe she will see me there. I say sounds good, and change clothes. Off and running.

12:45-arrive at Ali’s table breathing heavily from the 3 block hike on the cast. Suddenly realize it’s a work lunch, and she meant she would see me in southlake, not at lunch. Crud. Back away from table with embarrassed face, make a weird mumbled excuse and leave. Go across to Barnes and Nobles.

1:00-Go to bar across street to kill time before my 1:45 appointment, have a beer and food, with the new Mac:Life magazine I bought. Get texts from Ali apologizing, I think she knows I misunderstood, and did 80 to Southlake for what I thought was lunch. Eh, sometimes boys can be dumb.

1:45-Get phone replaced-buy new case for it while I am there.

4:00-Go to Walmart for candy for Mikey’s valentine party, and to pick up cupcakes. Have to dodge guys fighting over the two remaining V-Day cards, despite them being in Spanish and having elephants on the front.

5:30-Damn that line was long, get home, put groceries away, and decide to try and get past “Cult of Personality” on Guitar Hero 3.

6:00-Put together the “zero gravity” bike rack, which also means “zero chance this is going to stay standing upright, and will fall on your feet breaking both of them”

6:20-Dismantle “zero gravity” bike rack and vow to find something better.

7:00-the family and I go to Olive Garden for a pre valentine crowd dinner. Not romantic, but really, with a 4 year old, how romantic can you get? Especially with spilled lemonaid in your lap?

That is pretty much it up to now. Perhaps I will go play some more guitar hero, take my pain pills and go to bed. Tomorrow is the Pre-K valentine party, and I am invited. Photos soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Completely, Totally, Hopelessly Useless

No, that is not a shot at you. See back in the early Spring, we decided to pick up a little bike trailer for the baby munkey at Target. It looked a lot like a big boy bicycle, and since we wanted to start riding our bikes and working toward loosing some of the winter blubber, it would be a great way to get him involved and teach him the fundamentals. I think we even got him a helmet. That was probably in April or May. The best part was it was on clearance.

In July my back got so bad that we had to go in and do the whole titanium rebuild. I think I mentioned something about that.

Here we are in January, and I am still slowly recovering from that rebuild. Baby Munkey, on the other hand, has grown to the height of, well, about here on me. He is tall enough to ride the big boy bike his grandma got for him 2 years ago. Suddenly there is no need for this bike trailer, sitting in its sad little box in the garage, hoping one day to be a real toy.

So in my effort to move around everyday and try to get back to normal, I thought I would take the trailer in the box back to target, and play the "uh yeah it was a gift at Christmas" and try to get at least some of the money back, knowing full well it was on clearance and would only get back like 20 bucks or something. So I go there and am told not only will they not take it back, but I am an evil evil man for suggesting they take it back, and *gasp* I did not have a receipt. So the two of us, me and the box of uselessness, go back out to the car.

I get the bright idea of one of those resale shops for kids. Not to resale kids mind you, but their clothes and toys and whatnot. So I punch one up on the trusty iPhone, figure out where they are, and head that way. It was only like 8 miles away, so no biggie. I go inside to find a woman in her mid to late 40's dressed like she is communicating with the Aliens. She has stars and moons all over her, in her hair, her necklace, and really looks like a left over space cadet. I tell her what I have to sell, and she points out that they don't really buy stuff like that, scrunches her nose, and then says "our sister store usually does"

The sister store in question is Play it Again Sports. Great, great, great store if you need exercise equipment or fad gear. I bed they have at least one total gym there from people that wanted to work out, but were not quite Chuck Norris. So I ask where the closest Play... is and she has no idea. "I would think somewhere close, though." Lady was a brilliant bulb, thousand watts.

I head back out to the car, encouraged, if not frightened a little by Mrs. David Bowie, and again ask iPhone where the nearest Play it Again is located. Not bad really, 18 miles away, 30 minutes with traffic. Well its almost noon on a Thursday afternoon and the temperature is flirting with 35 degrees, so I start driving. Sure it was an area I did not know very well, but I was sure I could find it.

About half an hour later I find the store, tucked into a small shopping mall behind a larger shopping mall. I go inside, walk among the scattered treadmills, and ask the young guy if he buys bike trailers. He said it was the wrong season to be selling bikes of any kind, or trailers, and he would have a hard time moving it. Never mind that 4 days ago I was in shorts and T-shirt and the weather was almost spring like, and had been most of the winter. He proceeds to tell me that the used bike shop on the highway would need something like what I was selling, and I should check down there.

I drive another 15 minutes away, and find the bike shop is closed. I guess it is not bike season after all. Of course now I am on the wrong side of I-35, and have to trek back home by first driving north for about 30 minutes, to go 30 minutes south.

As I take my exit finally to get home, my gas gauge informs me that I am an idiot and have been driving around the past hour and a half burning the almost 3 dollar per gallon fuel like I am Bill Gates. So I sputter to a near standstill at the closest gas pump, put in a few dollars, and go home with my tail between my legs, and a bike trailer sitting comfortably in the back of my Jeep.