Archive

Shenandoah Nat'l Park

VA Farm Bureau

Dmtree

USBF

View current page
...more recent posts

What May Exist Question Mark
High winds may exist.  It was a warning.  But an avuncular one, so he took it lightly and was swept up into the top boughs of a pine tree, where in between gusts he was quite comfortable and happy about the view and enjoyed a general sense of smugness, like that one gets from being above it all.  But then he would  look out over the  wildly waving uncut hay fields to the north, which gave him notice of incoming gale force and he would increase his grip.  His fingernails were dug so deep into the pine bark that sap poured from it and soon coated his palms which turned black and sticky and coated with bits of wood and moss.  It was good the stickiness during the windy moments for it aided his ability to hold on but once during a calm moment he forgot about it and while picking at a piece of bark bit blown into his eye he succeeded only in spreading sap along the lid and soon found that eye glued shut.  So with only one eye the view was not as good.  Plus, it was his bad eye with which he now viewed the world.  His good eye had grown up going to church and listening to his mother and eating vegetables and such, and the bad eye had not.  Still, he had some vision, if slightly jaundiced, and, there was nothing wrong with his legs, yet, so he climbed down from the tree, slicing rude cuts into his face and body from the broken pointed shards of limb he encountered on his descent.  He had a limp now, caused he guessed from some poke in his get-a-long. And one puckering crusty eye and one formerly bad eye now elevated to good.  This new good eye accepted light but gave none back.  And like this he set out.
- jimlouis 1-13-2012 11:33 am [link]
Not My Username
A man calls out to us from up ahead.  A dime seems like an odd amount to panhandle for.  Do they even make dimes anymore?  Bernadette finds some change while I finger what I think may be a dollar bill but turns out to be a piece of paper with my username and password for Pandora One.  I'm not giving that away.  I find thirty one cents and place it in his crusty black hand and by doing so save us from the sermon.  The man behind us, who gives nothing, gets the sermon, which we, walking, almost to the corner now where we will turn into a restaurant (I'm no Bennet Cerf), can hear with crystal clarity, almost cringing now on the front row, wooden pew meets bony ass, underarms itch with embarrassment because I know he's talking right to me.  If you exit to the east at dinner time this is going to happen.  Exit to the west not so much.
- jimlouis 1-03-2012 8:50 am [link]
What I Got For Christmas
It wasn't that bad.  There was a little bait and switch pricing two hours before surgery but we worked that out--to my detriment--and it was no time at all before they had me gowned up (the orderly gave me an extra pair of non-skid socks as souvenir) and were shoving release forms up in my face to sign and marking me with indelible markers so they didn't screw up and cut me on the wrong side.  On the operating table they slid off my hospital issue draw string pants right before turning on the demerol stream and that was the last I saw of them.  They weren't in my bag when I got home and I am formally listing that as a regret.  I really wanted those draw string hospital pants.  I had looked into a future which had me lounging in them.

I'm normally a 118 over 75 kind of guy but immediately after the negotiations with Beth Israel's finance department a nurse took a reading and I was 148 over 98 or thereabouts.  I told her no, I am not a sufferer of high blood pressure, I think what is happening is my blood pressure reading is selling me out, belying my calm demeanor to say--hey this guy is really upset about being screwed out of 3 or 4 thousand dollars an hour or two before going under the knife for the first time in his life.  That's my estimation of the situation.  The nurse was understanding and said we would not worry about my blood pressure.  I gave her my height and weight too.  It seems nowadays they just trust you with that information rather than going to the trouble of actually using measuring devices.  I rounded my height down by a half inch and my weight up by five pounds because I am tall and thin enough to benefit from the adjustment.  I got my temperature taken with one of those thermometers that seems like a large rollerball pen they just trace across your forehead, from temple to temple and that's it.  Such a thing as this thermometer defines a modernness that I always hoped I would see, especially as it appears I will not (nor will any of us)  live long enough to see the mass production of flying cars.  

After years of delay I had a month or two ago started this medical forward movement to address a situation that while not life threatening or even necessary to deal with in the strictest sense, was however causing me some discomfort both physically and emotionally.  And to exacerbate my general ease with inaction, every doctor that has studied me over the last couple of years has made it clear by one expression or another that I have really shown a level of procrastination worthy of standing ovation applause, if procrastination were a rock band for which you camped out overnight to get tickets and then you ingested three or four mushroom caps and there was a light show and you literally cried because it was all so beautiful.

I will get to the point and say that the original procedure of concern was that of excising a hydrocele.  A hydrocele is fluid in the nut sack and is common with infants but I have always been a late bloomer so I was dealing with mine as a fifty two year old man.  

I don't really have any doctors I consider my own so I got a reference from Bernadette's primary care physician for a urologist here in New York.  The last time I almost took care of this was in North Carolina when I had that kidney stone during the renovation of my rental property, two or three years ago.  The doctors at Duke said they could take care of it for me but I let days and months pass and could never find what seemed like a good time for what is on some level a two or three month recuperation.  And then I just kept getting farther and farther from North Carolina so it never made sense to do it there.

The urologist said it appeared I also had a hernia so he sent me to a general surgeon  who does that sort of thing and we all got together and decided it would be logical to do the two procedures at once.

They didn't even have me count backward.  When the anesthesiologist turned on that drip it was almost instantaneous bliss, which I got to experience for what seemed like three or four seconds before I was under and they started shaving and slicing and inserting mesh and stitching up and then tag your it, my urologist did his thing down there.  I highly recommend not researching the subject too carefully unless you are in the market for such a procedure yourself, or, you have a fetish that way.  It is a fairly gruesome thing.  I was at a party the other night and there was a very experienced nurse in attendance and I mentioned the procedure by name--hydrocelectomy--and she winced, if that tells you anything.  Of course there are far worse ailments and surgeries and predicaments in a life so there is always the perspective of that.  That's right, I am grateful.

I got some Percocets to take home with me and I thought that was a silver lining to the whole thing.  Until after three or four days of taking five or six a day I got the first sense  that I may have to deal with the constipation issue.

What happened, it seems, is that someone snuck in here one night during my opiate dream and inserted a fair length of two by four up my ass.  And so I would never shit again.  That was obvious.  I had been prepping for this possibility even before surgery by removing red meat from my diet, increasing my fiber intake, etc., and then after surgery I was continuing to eat high fiber, was drinking prune juice, ingesting vitamin C,  taking softeners, and eventually a laxative and--nothing, but discomfort and a growing sense of dread.

On Christmas eve night, after attending briefly the party across the hall, I spent ten hours of shear hell in the bathroom with zero result.  Christmas night was a repeat of that, with pacing and jiggling and weird hula dancing type movements and massaging my now hugely bloated belly trying to make something happen.  All for naught.

On the day after Christmas I was sort of like a broken man.  If I possessed any state secrets I would have given them up for the chance to empty my bowels.

In addition to this discomfort I was also still post op from two cuts in my body, both near and affecting the necessary muscles one needs to pass solid waste, and the liquid for that matter.  Also,  on those many occasions when I had to stand up or sit down or get in and out of bed there would sometimes be the sensation of having a rusty icepick inserted decisively into my left testicle.  So that was nice.  In the sense that it took my mind off the constipation.  Whenever I was in the mood to be careful I could be seen, or not, shuffling bent over at the waist around the apartment, because that seemed to offer the least chance of pain.

I wept a couple of times just because I wasn't happy.

But its doable obviously, all of it, so don't let any of this discourage you if you are in the market for a hernia repair and hydrocele excision on the same day.

In the end it was a store bought enema product that did the trick.  And although there was howling and huffing and puffing and tears that seemed to just pop from my eyeballs onto the floor between my legs propped up on an empty  le Creuset box, not like crying at all, and I must say there were two or three actual screams, ones like I've never heard from out of me, but after about three hours there was one final explosion and then I was calm in a way that is familiar and now I'm back to just run of the mill pain, which I manage mostly without outside aide.  I have a few percs left and I will once a day or less eat one just for the fun of it.
- jimlouis 12-31-2011 5:43 pm [link] [1 ref]
Things To Remember
7:30--the sun will apparently not be coming up today. 8:00--remove mouse carcasses from traps set last night. 8:15--mouse poop cannot be left unattended indefinitely. 9:00--that is not a real snake. you bought it at Miss. truck stop. 9:24--just because you can sit down anytime you want to, doesn't mean you should. 9:35--wash hands frequently. 9:42--the north wind blows coldly across Mt. Pleasant. 9:59--you have a fairly good understanding of the meaning behind when the cat's away the mice will play. 10:15--if cleanliness is next to godliness you are getting closer to God. 12:09--you should tackle the pantry now. 12:10--don't forget to eat. 12:11--bleh, this is probably why you don't clean so often. 12:30--the best responses to Bernadette's if she were here probable assertion that little debbies are not a proper lunch are 1., yes they are, or 2., whatever.
- jimlouis 11-04-2011 9:23 am [link]
A Weekday
I was keeping to the middle of the street to avoid the rats. Walking without much concern for traffic at 6 a.m. I did not like the idea of starting the day with any kind of physical contact with rodents. The rodent I allow has not so much interest in contacting me either. But the possibility for accidental touching remains high. High as a trash heap. Please, startled from your trash heap dreams do not brush against the shoulder of my ankle. I beg of you to not run your gray lumpy self over my paint-splattered hiking boots. Instead of all that pleading I just walk in the middle of the street, where the heavy gray skittering from say beneath a Chevy is less frequent than up on the sidewalk.

In the afternoon coming back from Long Island with more paint splattered not only on the boots I brake as part of the two mile long rubber-necking procession and enjoy as we all do a good car fire, hood engulfed in the yellow orange blaze, tires catching now, just passing right along and rolling down all the windows to remove from the deeper recesses of my cavernous nostrils the smell of freshly burnt rubber. The fireman had been opening the back door and I spent the next few miles imagining what may have been in the back seat. There was always a stuffed animal.

Back up in a fifth floor sanctuary hearing from beyond the blue building the progressively more persistent whirring of helicopter blades over Wall Street I take a nap.
- jimlouis 10-09-2011 10:09 am [link]
News Copterwshcopter
- jimlouis 10-09-2011 10:07 am [link]
Up To Your Ankles
In New York early this morning near hurricane strength gusts of wind ripped through the city bringing down leaves from trees to come crashing wetly down on vehicles below, in some cases sticking to windshields or even sunroofs.

The devastation was felt citywide, trashcans not emptied of their refuse prior to the storm gave up their contents to a greedy and less than fastidious Irene, who set about spreading wrappers and brown paper bags hither and thither.

In lower lying areas of southern Manhattan the flooding was widespread, if measured in inches. The brave and curious could be seen wading in water up to their ankles and in some cases mid thigh.

A city torn apart by worry and meteorological speculation now rebuilds.
- jimlouis 8-28-2011 6:04 pm [link]
The Irene After ireneafter
- jimlouis 8-28-2011 6:00 pm [link]
Detroit Pictures
- jimlouis 8-16-2011 8:58 am [link]
Instead Of Dessert
We stopped off for dinner in Cleveland at some well reviewed place which was only adequate but had a nice meal until the alcohol and 10 hours of driving kicked in and then we arm wrestled a little bit instead of looking at the dessert menu.

But did enjoy Cleveland for a couple of hours exploring on  a rainy Sunday.  Drove around, went to a park and looked at the black sky over Lake Erie.

Got back on the road after the early dinner and headed straight for Toledo, Ohio which I have been eager to add to list of places I can answer affirmatively about when asked have I been there.  Yes I have I smiled knowingly.

We are off to a written about diner somewhere here in Toledo and then to Dearborn to commune with its Arabic population,  and have what I strongly feel will be excellent Middle Eastern for lunch and fit in between these a visit to the Henry Ford Museum so I can take a look at the limousine inside of which President Kennedy was killed.

Then to Detroit for a few days before driving back to NY possibly in the rain again which was not so bad once we replaced the windshield wiper and Interstate 80 is a fine piece of road and western PA is pretty kick ass.
- jimlouis 8-15-2011 9:03 am [link]