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August 26, 2012

Only the educated are free
Eleanor Roosevelt

The Collousus Of New York
Click images for desktop size: "The Collousus Of New York"
I was in the hospital for 3 days.
I didn't like it.

I went to the hospital because my feet were so swollen and I was having this freaky chest pain, like The Psychic a heartening dizzy spell. The pain on my chest was heavy then it would vanish with a light fluttering that left me spaced and approaching euphoria. I wasn't too sure that this wan't the way that death would signal its approach.
The heavily swollen feet and legs indicated congestive heart failure but all the tests, and there were plenty of tests, showed that I did not have another heart attack. There were four blood tests to back this up.
They took a lot of effort to explain to me each time that they were only taking about half a cup of blood so I needn't worry. About then they realized that my present EKG looked better than my EKG from about 2 years ago. My heart has been healing but still showed about 17% of it was dead, or in medical euphemisms wasn't beating as efficiently as the rest.
They had me all wired up to do a stress test for a sonogram of my heart when they abruptly decided to switch over to nuclear medicine for a more exact picture of my heart.
In nuclear medicine they inject you intravenously with some radioactive isotopes that cling to your heart so they can do a catscan like picture of the thing. They were going to do it twice; once with my heart rested and then another trip to the treadmill to stress test it and me.
But then came the rub. They took me to the bench to do the layered x-rays. When they strapped me in the trouble started. No one but orthopedists take a frozen shoulder veery seriously. They don't relate or even glimmeringly comprehend the intense pain it brings.
My right shoulder feels as if it's dislocated while the shoulder blade feels exactly like a bad separation. I've done them both often enough to be able to dissect the pain. Because of all the Deadly Theory by Hans Bok
Click images for desktop size: "Deadly Theory" by Han Bok
inflammation in the shoulder important nerves and veins and arteries get squished and shut off so it feel alternately as if the arm is going to explode from too much blood coagulating in the hand and arm, to tingling numbness as it falls asleep starving for blood. The muscles in the hand and arm knot of ferociously trying to protect themselves. They do quite a job at that. When I had the frozen shoulder on my left side it was 3 times a week physical therapy for 7 months to get 80% of the use of my left arm back.
The Nuclear Medicine bench os about 1 foot wide. They strapped me to it with 2 1/2" black nylon straps, which is fine enough but they wanted my left hand strapped over my head with my right arm strapped flat against my right side.
It didn't work.
My body convulsed from the pain like those movies of mental patients getting electroshock therapy. It was beyond my control.Psycho
They conferred and gave me some intravenous tylenol. Sitting there relaxed it took away the pain in the shoulder immediately! When they went to strap me up again the pain bounced back unbearably. So they decided to do morphine. The pain ate through the double dose of morphine like it didn't exist. So after more conferring and me suggesting they just knock me out we had to wait for a special doctor to come down and inject me with about 150 units of demerol.
It was expected that this would knock me out and Nuclear Medicine could get back on schedule. The demerol knocked me for a loop. My shoulder felt like it was non-existent. My wife showed up about then. I remember wishing she'd brought along one of the dogs. Demerol is synthetic heroin. Eichmann of the Nazi's was addicted to it. Five to ten times more powerful then heroin is the hype. It's the crack of the downer world. I don't much like narcotics. The high lasts too long for my tastes and the side effects are creepy. And in my case they didn't work.
Angel by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
they expected me to lie dead still for 15 minutes, even with the demerol I could only lie still for about 45 seconds at best, and that 45 seconds was filled with terrifying agony.
After more conferring they decided to try it with me lying on my stomach with both hands over my head. The demerol made this endurable but it still hurt like hell.
But the vengeance was still to come. It was decided since I had enough narcotics in me to knock me out I couldn't so the stress test on the treadmill. I told them I was fine but they ignored me as an idiot. As it is only my body that I know pretty well. They told me I was going to do a chemical stress test. An injection that would fool my body into thinking I had just spent 30 minutes running uphill. I could have done without the reassurance that if the injection caused a heart attack that I was in the best place to have that heart attack.Problem Girls
The chemical stress test was the worst experience of my adult life. The only thing that compares was the time when I was 10 and I got cast in a riptide at Zuma Beach and nearly drowned trying to get back to shore.
Suddenly I could not breathe, all the strength flooded from my arms and legs. My torso felt on fire and burned hollow, the only thing there were my lungs fighting desperately for a tiny wisp of air.
The doctors were satisfied. I could go get the next Nuclear catscan. It was worse than the first one. They screwed it up the first time so I had to do it twice.
My wife spent her time with me. I was grateful. I worried about her as I knew the last time she'd been in a hospital it was to do a death watch on her mother. It was too recent not to be in the front of her thoughts. We managed to find her favorite show ("What Not To Wear") on TV. I wonder if she's serious about going to the hospital every Friday night to see the seasons reruns.
After a couple of sonograms on my legs and liver they released me. I went to work the next day as if I don't work I don't get paid. Work was terrible. The after effect of the narcotics was too reminiscent of the aftereffects of chemotherapy. I was seriously nauseous, my shoulder screaming at me and I was still having the spells that signal the pale rider.
We got through it.
The dogs were thrilled to see me again. My little girls keeps staring at me adoringly which is a bit disconcerting. I'm used to her bullying me.

August 19, 2012

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.
John Madden

Chrysalis by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Chrysalis" by JW McGinnis
My days are spent dealing with under educated products of the Bush era "No child left behind" junta. Coffee skinned young men who's main experience in life comes from TV.Confessions of a Window Cleaner
Like the fellow who the cops came and took away the other day. He was in his early twenties. He was working hard to look urban and hard, he ware the tiny jeans and the sway and swagger, a yellow shirt and a blue baseball cap perched at a ridiculous angle on his braids.
His success in life was paralleled by his success in growing a beard. His beard and mustache were indistinct smears that make his face look smeared and blurry instead of masculine.
He had a tattoo but it wasn't cool. It was more a fifties sailor tattoo than an urban statement. The kind of tattoo they invented laser removal for.
In line behind him was a guy running up to sixty and sixty didn't want him. He has ebon black skin and a better mustache and deep wrinkles instead of the blurry beard. He and the kid are dressed in the same wannabee urban style. On the kid it looks just sad and silly. On an older man it looks desperate and frightenly illogical.
Both man and kid work to project that hard edge urban toughness. They haven't had the experience. They've never been to the city let alone lived in the asphalt and steel. So their interpretation of the attitude comes across as weak meanness smothered in rudeness.
This doesn't mean they don't have guns and needs. It doesn't make them less dangerous. Maybe it makes them more dangerous as they're incapable of understanding the world and their reactions to it.
I'm the manager of of an internet cafe except the main purpose is internet sweepstakes, which plays out like bogus video slots. I manage the most popular "casino" "slots parlor" in the town. I ride herd on the obese women who spend their tip money and paychecks trying to win $500 for a quarter or $1,000 for fifty cents all the way up to $13k for $6.50. Even when they win and discover that $500 The Shadow by Frank Hamilton
Click images for desktop size: "The Shadow" by Frank Hamilton
or even $13,000 is never going to change their lives or improve their worlds they still keep coming back. Most of them every day.
They sit at cheap e-machine computers and click a mouse that spins jpgs of fruit and symbols for hours and sometimes days chasing a whisper of hope.
The job debilitates me. It wears me down to the last layer of skin before the muscle and skin break through and bleed. It fatigues me to groin level depths of weakness.
My wife is finally down here. The dogs are finally all together. We're stepping all over each other while we search for something livable. It should be a happy time and it is.
I'm watching movies and listening to music and petting the puppies and laughing at them. In this little space the world is good if flawed. The flaws aren't fatal and will vanish soon enough.
I haven't had the energy to update this thing. I've paid a price for it. Now that I've typed out these thoughts about my customers I've banished them from my memory. I have no more need to keep them in my thoughts. I can focus more clearly on what's important to me and the life of my little family. Convicted Woman
I'm a brooder. I think and rethink things holding on to them until I reach a conclusion. Writing them down makes things fait accompli. Over and done.
Silly but sillier still to defy truth. I'm not a 21st Century Republican.
I'm going to try and update more often. Right now I'm in dire straits physically. I've got the frozen shoulder again. This time in my right shoulder. It messes with my body badly. Yesterday I woke up and my legs were swollen about 3 inches larger all the way around. I slept on the floor with my feet up and got my legs down to merely swollen this morning. I took the dogs out in the pouring rain and my feet didn't hurt.
My shoulder keeps me from sleeping well. The pain is still the worst I've ever had to deal with. Worse than a heart attack.
' How happy am I to have my family with me can be measured by the fact I haven't lost my sense of happiness.