To be or not to be; that's not really a question
Another day at work. Spent my waking time arranging my transportation for physical therapy, optician and neurology appointments. It seemed a dreary and depressing chore.
Took my puppy for her walk and, as usual, marveled at how much she enjoys just being with me; how keen she is for adventure. We saw a rabbit. It was disappointing that the bunny wouldn't sit still to be smelled.
We met a new dog in the neighborhood . A boy.
It made for a good morning.
I fell asleep at the computer reading emails, went to bed at 11 AM. Begrudgingly my puppy agreed to share our single bed. Slept fitfully until my phone rang; robot calls, two in a row, confirming the physical therapy and the neurology appointments.
Pouring rain; makes me feel even sicker.
Went to Physical therapy. It was good. He explained to me why drops in barometric pressure cause my shoulder to hurt and why the corresponding effect is a two inch loss of mobility.
The explanation was filled with tech terms and medical jargon. The ones I got were the easy ones like orbital and viscous fluid. Even when I didn't understand it all it gave me comfort to have it explained out loud.
Stretched out the three ligaments in the shoulder. Hurt but felt I was getting some good out of it. Then worked on the shoulder with some machines and tools. I made a special effort to remember the names of the tools. Can't recall any of them. Don't know if that's due to the fever or lack of sleep.
Next time I'll write it all down. Taking notes on my life.
The war with Canada escalates. I received a two page letter from them. It makes no sense. It clearly was rushed and not even proofread.It is so insane and bewildering that I wish I had a good attorney I could afford to interpret it. It is as full of lies as a government letter normally is but ends with a whack phrase "I find you not to be inadmissible so I refuse you entry to Canada . . . "
To which I can only say, "Huh?"
Its what I expected but I expected a little more care to be taken and for their to be some precision and not so filled with wild conclusions and down right lies, demonstrably false lies to boot.
After a painful day at work I fell asleep in front of the computer but woke up in time for Physical Therapy and to go the neurologist.
I had to sit for over an hour in the waiting room. It was the kind of waiting room I've come to hate; large and over bearing with noise, not helped much by the two flat screen TV's blaring different commercials for medical services from opposing corners.
Met the Doctor. He was in his late 20's. Seemed like he was sort of brilliant. As we talked I found out he was one of the lead's on the NFL concussion and neurological research team.
Watching him rip through the medical database (which is still a thing of beauty) was cool. An impressive feat was that he'd gone and dug up data that wasn't in the database. Early medical treatments from before the database existed and before I lived here. A lot of research for a new patient. I started to think about how much the wunderkind must charge.
One unsettling fact was that one of the first chemo's I had, a pretty nasty one - the constant sickness and hair falling out in clumps that makes good dramatic movie fodder but is still no fun to live through, it started with a Vin or some such, well this Vin chemo contained a neurotoxin as one of its ingredients . . . it would sort of be impossible for me not to have some nerve damage. This was also the chemo that gave me diabetes. Nasty stuff. It didn't work either.
He explained that diabetes also caused a certain amount of inevitable nerve damage. Then he said the only cringe inducing thing of the day, "you know you're a pretty fascinating guy. When I was doing your medical history I was expecting someone well, no one like you. You don't even look your age let alone like someone who's been through all this," as he waved his hand at the computer screen and its load of open documents.
I replied with something weak like, "A guy is always more than just a bunch of words and pictures," with a shrug. He started to say something back and ended with, "Well, I should get on with the examination."
And that's what we did.
I have definite damage in the ulnar nerve. This was possibly caused by the cop twisting my arm. Also my left foot surprisingly has some dead spots. I can feel a jab but I can't feel the buzz of a tuning fork.
Oddest was that I have mag something or other in my left eye. When I look to the left my left eye bounces around independently and crazily. I was totally unaware of this. The wunderkind was annoyed that the opthamologist hadn't noticed this. I didn't think much of the opthamologist so I wan't surprised by him missing it but I still have no idea what it means, other than another series of tests EMG's on December 4th.
I received an odd phone call. I'm being recruited to coach a semi-pro team. A couple of my former players are pushing hard for it.
I don't see much value to semi-pro football; at least not the values that I think I can teach. These are men and I still think I can teach young men and women best. I'll listen but I remain skeptical.
For Thanksgiving I gave myself a present. I took my puppy to see Santa Claus. I laughed a lot.
' We saw a lot of great dogs and ran into two of the people who were in our first therapy dog class. The dogs and the people who fed them remembered my puppy and me. I didn't remember the people but I remembered the dogs. Maybe it was the other way around for my puppy.
Their male dog just finished two years of being cancer free after being operated for melanoma. He worked as a therapy dog at the VA hospital even through his chemo. He demanded that I pet him and was begging for a cookie. My puppy let him have my attention, which is not common with her.
Which means that I'm looking forward to this week of football. A chance to get lost in the reality and beauty of a game that reflects and magnifies life.
In the contest my friend leads with a 97-94, but as you can see justice is beginning to prevail and I am inching closer to total victory!!
Last week I was a magnificent 10 of 15 while my friend was a laughable 9 of 15. A lesser man would gloat and laugh at her ineptitude. A slightly better man would feel sorry for someone so clearly out of her depth but me, well, I stick to downright mean gloating.
My picks are in bold.
Miami at Carolina - I picked the Dolphins. I think their record is poor but they've been playing better football. They were hard hit when Chad Pennington went down but have adapted well. Carolina is a great inconsistent mess of a team, talented but unreliable.
Indianapolis at Baltimore - Manning pulled off another miracle to remain undefeated. The Ravens won't be impressed. Their season is on the line. Oddly the defense has been incredibly inconsistent. They miss Rex Ryan as DC more than they thought. But their offense has been strong. The Colts freakish win over the Patriots is the sort that can give a team swagger through the rest of the season but it can also cause the wrong people to relax and just count on the miracle. With a new HC I'm figuring that will be the result and the hungrier, desperate Ravens pull one out at home. This is my Game of the Week but only because the schedule is pretty rotten.
Washington at Dallas - There's no heat for this game. The lack of heat actually favors the Redskins. The Cowboys record is adequate but loaded with wins against doormat teams. The Redskins are a doormat this season. This is a magnificent example of who cares.
Cleveland at Detroit - Cruddy Game of the Week. My Survivor Game. There are 839 "Survivors" left in the pool. Since you can only pick a team one time during the season you end up with a pretty decrepit looking selection of teams at this stage. I'm picking the lions because I don't think they have a chance to win any more games this season. The Browns truly stink. Brady Quinn as starting QB is a joke. The Browns D is off looking for condo's in Florida. Matt Stafford gives the lions O some life. If I can get past this week I actually have a chance at winning the Survivor game.
San Francisco at Green Bay - The 49er's are a team playing better ball then their record shows. The Packers have been incredibly inconsistent but their 5-4 record is better than they are. If Singletary can keep his team together and away from being discouraged they should smash the Packers.
Buffalo at Jacksonville - The Bills make me nervous here, not that they are any good but they're the first team this season to fire its head coach. Historically cruddy teams have won like 70% of their first games after the HC has been dumped. Otherwise Jacksonville and fiery Jack Del Rio should take it to them in a rout.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City - This is going to be an ugly game. And pretty uninteresting too.
Seattle at Minnesota - Adrien Petersen, Brett Favre.
Atlanta at New York Giants - The Giants are favored in this one? Old prejudices die hard. Matt Ryan is flying high. The Falcon ground game is potent while the Giants have been bumbling. Steve Smith is looking great as a possession receiver but they mix Plaxico Burress more than they want to admit.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay - The Saints are without Reggie Bush and Sedrick Ellis. That hurts. Dru Brees' mother committed suicide. The Saints might be ready to fall. The Buccaneers have been looking eerily potent. This game is their SuperBowl. I'm sticking with the Saints out of faith.
Arizona at St Louis - This should be a rout. If it isn't there should be an investigation.
San Diego at Denver - The Chargers are starting to peak, too early for the playoffs of course, while the Broncos are falling hard back to earth. They remind me of an old Chicago team (Remember Bobby Douglas - for your sake I hope not) that started the season 7-0 and finished 7-7 . . .
New York Jets at New England - This would not be the week I'd want to play the Patriots. Angry after the last second loss to the Colts (And I think Billichik's decision to got for it on 4th down was right. Even a great punt would not have changed the out come. The only question I have is not putting the ball in the hands of Randy Moss or Wes Welker). Tom Brady is going to turn buzz saw and looking to put his foot on someones neck. The shambolic Jets defense are going to be the poor guys out there.
Cincinnati at Oakland - The brilliant play of Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco on offense and Keith Rivers and Rey Maluga on D will keep this one entertaining. A new QB for the Raiders isn't going to be anywhere near enough.
Tennessee at Houston - I wouldn't have thought it possible but Vince Young is pulling the Titans together. The Texans are trying and get Steve Slaton back this weekend. This one has the potential to be entertaining especially watching Brian Cushing chase Vince Young down.
Philadelphia 34 at Chicago 35 - The Eagles shouldn't miss Brian Westbrook much, they've got plenty of weapons. I'm picking the Bears at home because Jay Cutler seems to follow up horrific performances (5 picks last week) with stellar jobs on his next outing.