True love is proven in the most difficult of situations

I have the greatest wife in the world and a hernia in my ass.

A little salt, a pinch of sugar, and I'll be ready for Thanksgiving. (Sorry, I couldn't resist. I have problems.) © Olga Lyubkin - Fotolia.com

Those are the facts. And I’m happy about the first one and upset about the second.

The official term is Rectal Prolapse. And it’s as bad as it sounds. Perhaps, worse.

Saturday the cipro did a number on my stomach and digestion, and something tore loose back there. I thought it was a hemorrhoid that hurt really bad. But the pain woke me up around 5 a.m. Sunday morning and I was walking gingerly into the ER around 10 a.m. with an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale.

A little luck went my way with a short wait and a very nice doctor who worked the rupture back into place. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay and popped back out and a surgeon was called. No immediate surgery due to the fact it could be put back in place.

“Follow up with your doctor on Monday. Now run along little cow poke. You’ll get the hang of riding horses one day.”

For the past two days, I’ve had to drop trou and have my wife manipulate it back in place because it’s not as easy to do it yourself as the ER doc said, “just use two fingers and push it back in place.” That would be possible if I worked at Cirque du Soleil and could twist my lower body around 180 degrees. But I’m made of wood and might break if I tried.

There is also the steroidal magic bullet I insert, which I do in front of my wife, as asking for privacy at this point seems, well, pointless. After the final application of a salt and sugar paste to reduce swelling and season me properly, I place my ass in the 350-degree oven for a nice crusty glaze*.

Oh, I almost forgot one final step. Gauze is inserted between the two hemispheres and both are taped together, tight, for maximum style points in my cargo shorts.

I must say I’ve been pretty mellow about this new adventure. It has a “this isn’t really happening, is it?” quality about it.

“No, I really don’t have to stand and clench my cheeks before every cough.”

“It’s a good thing this is just a bad dream and I’ll wake soon.”

But it’s real. And yet, at the same time, it’s proof I am the luckiest man in the world because I married a woman with courage for the both of us and gentle hands.

When I’m laying on my side with my back toward her, I tell her that I would do the same for her if our roles were reversed. And I also tell her that I’m glad it’s me going through this and not her.

And I mean it.

***

[*The oven part is a joke. Do not attempt unless you want to be dinner or are a complete idiot.]

Advertisements

Caught in the medical riptide

I’m back in heaving ocean waters again. A sea full of medical tests and ailments. And it’s going to be awhile before I can escape its grasp and swim to shore.

It started with the blood clot in my neck and the twice-a-day “shots  from hell” to the gut. Now I have two hematomas on my fat-covered six-pack – large bruises with nodules of what I guess is hardening blood in the middle. Kind of like chocolate candies with almond centers, not that I’ll ever eat those again now.

There are a million rocks under that whipped cream

Then last week on a vacation day, the ocean attacked me by throwing a large stone at my foot. A trail of cuts runs up my right foot to a large bruise near my ankle bone.

I was standing in a field of rocks with my daughter searching for cool looking specimens to take home when a foamy wave shot up the beach, rolled a nice big rock and beaned my foot. It hurt, but I was fine until I went bowling Sunday.

That’s right, bowling.

Who’s bright idea was that? Oh, yeah, mine.

So, we went, Sunday, bowling. And on the second ball I rolled, I pulled a muscle in my ass and back. Embarrassment does come with an injury like that, but I can brag that I played through the pain and bowled three games without being able to bend over to roll the ball. I just sort of had to throw it down the alley to manage the pain. (Grunt, toss, thud, sound of pins falling.)

Clearly, I was not in bowling shape

But we still had fun, with my daughter providing the highlight by leaning over the fan on the ball return and putting the gate down as my ball was heading down the lane. CLANK. Then, as we were figuring out what black magic prevented me from picking up the spare, my ball rolled all the way back and I picked it up as if nothing happened. Good times.

Until I took my shoe off.

Something about the bowling shoe irritated the bruise and caused a golf ball sized hematoma on my ankle, confirmed by the ortho Dr. yesterday.

By bedtime, my foot looks like it belongs to someone you’d see on Jerry Springer who hasn’t left the house for five years because he enjoyed home delivery of ten large Domino’s pizzas each day and crushed his scale north of a 1,000 lbs.

But that wasn’t the best part of the appointment with the ortho. I received a bonus gift during my visit, which is so often the case with visits to the doctor. I choose door 3, but they surprised me with door 2. He told me there is calcification in the artery? Wasn’t clear on that, but he said he normally only sees it in much older patients and I need to see my heart doctor about it.

In CF years, I’m 132. Does that count?

Now I have to get a stress echo or cardiac cath, the latter makes me sweat and want to throw up. Not big on caths of any kind, especially on a blood thinner.

Caption says it all

Oh, and I have the tooth that needs to be pulled asap because the gum is bubbling again, but which I keep putting off because I need to get an oral surgeon to do it thanks to the blood thinner.

Despite all of this, I’m doing my best to power through it, have the best summer possible, and keep swimming with the pain and riptide until the tide turns and I can swim to shore. This is about endurance and mental toughness right now – both of which I often lack.

Or I’ve reached the point in the movie where the lead character has lost it and is waving his gun at the monster in the fog and screaming, “come on, if you’re going to kill me, do it. DO IT. What are you waiting for? Come and get me.”

The next sound you hear will be me firing my remaining shots into the fog.

BREAKING NEWS: Blogger derails in midnight crash

Mar 10, 7:32 PM EST

By HENRY CHINASKI
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – An obscure blogger was injured in a mental derailment in a northern suburb of Los Angeles early this morning. The incident happened at approximately 12:30 a.m. Many details are still unconfirmed at this time. However, KCBS reported on its 9:00 a.m. news broadcast that the blogger was high on M&Ms while blogging late into the evening.

In confirmed witness reports from LAPD, the blogger experienced unusual pains like those of indigestion or heart-related troubles. He also felt anxiety over an upcoming trip to the state of New Jersey and a general sense of worthlessness. Mild hemoptysis is also suspected in adding to the feeling of dread experienced by the blogger.

The mental breakdown comes after weeks of staying up late writing blog posts while running on fumes and anxiety.

Rumors also persist there was constant pain in his back, which may have led to the heightened anxiety throughout the day and leading up to the episode in question.

Two witnesses, a large furry mutt and a lazy yellow Labrador, were on the scene and witnessed some of the events.

“I thought it was odd when he pushed my hindquarters off the couch. But then left within . . . what’s Time again? Well, he walked away soon after whenever,” said the yellow lab, clearly shaken by the behavior of the blogger. “I’m still upset. He does that to me every night. I have the spot. It’s mine. He just takes it like he owns it. Sometimes he grabs me by the collar. I feel bullied. It’s awful. But I still love him. I can’t explain it. He has it. Do I earn a treat for this interview?”

Family members who slept through the nightmarish agony and drama had no comment at this time. However, the furry mutt did provide additional details. “I saw him with his head in his hands for a long time. I was worried. Then he ate something small and round and drank some water,” added the mutt. “Later he went back to his couch and fell asleep. But he didn’t look so good this morning. Maybe it was bad kibble? It can happen. Eat some grass, that’s what I tried to tell him. He never listens.”

Though the blogger himself had no comment when the AP contacted him by phone, it was reported by KABC that he fell asleep at his desk several times today and felt lousy.

Unconfirmed reports indicate he stood on his front lawn at approximately noon today waiting for a meteor to fall on his head and crush him. However, AP sources have yet to confirm whether his wish was granted. No meteor sightings were reported in Los Angeles today.

According to both dogs, he ingested at least 200 M&Ms of various colors this afternoon in an effort to recapture his work “mojo.” A source who asked not to be identified confirmed the plan failed.

AP will continue to monitor the situation and bring you live updates should events warrant.

©2001 The Associated Parody. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Raindrops on Roses, Crushes and Bromances

Today started off in a dark place and improved until I coughed up blood streaks tonight. Add that to the back pain I’ve had for the past four days and I feel like I’m playing the game where you place your forehead on a baseball bat, spin around it, and then run to first base. How did I end up in the stadium parking lot?

Photo by Angela Sevin, Creative Commons

This is my mind on CF

My “monkey mind” is lighting up like a fireworks factory fire. Will I be in the hospital tomorrow for the bleeding? What if my kidneys are damaged? I can’t get comfortable. Am I peeing too much or too little? I can’t concentrate on work. WebMD says I have a rare form of kidney Ebola.

I gave urine and blood at Quest Diagnostics (QD) yesterday. I fucking hate Quest Diagnostics.

First, the waiting room is full of sick people who want to kill me (always bring your own pen to sign in with or you will catch Ebola).

Second, the QD workers always ask me: “Why the mask?” Because I have a highly contagious disease that made my ass expand to the size of a beach ball. They used a 14-inch railroad spike to pop it. Hurt like hell. Oh, and what a mess. However, I will take this mask off if you kiss me while I pee in this cup?

Third, QD bills are the gift that keeps on giving for months to come. Thanks to them I had a collection agency harassing me over a $120 invoice I’d never received. QD representative on the phone: Oops, we’re so sorry. Computer error. We’ll tell the agency to remove the medieval catapult parked in front of your house.

I’m in the outfield again. Oh, yeah, Crushes and Bromances.

I was thinking tonight about a few of my blogging and Twitter friends and how much I dig them. I admit the following: I have crushes on my female readers. And a bromance or two – don’t want the guys to feel left out. But, dudes, eat your hearts out – I have some highly intelligent women reading and commenting. How did that happen? Clearly, the bag on my head makes me better looking, as I was told it would in high school – yes, the bullies were right. Thanks guys, I thought you were just screwing with me.

So when does the “Women of CF: Mensa Edition” calendar hit stores? I am so ready to buy it. Sign me up. And I want each month autographed: To Unknown, [(I +U ) 2011] x CH3CH2OH + HLT = CF-3 ft x ∞

Strange, I never anticipated blogging would have this benefit. I do confess it’s hard to be on my best behavior in comments and email.  Sometimes, I’m biting my knuckles with Fox telling me: “Write it. Write it. She’ll take it as a compliment. Oh, you wimp.” Rule #2 in the Book of the Unknown: Never listen to Fox.

Shallow thoughts and deep fears

The birth of my daughter nine years ago made me see the world differently – good and bad. It was a great day. There have been happy moments that have made me feel guilty I’ve experienced them, like the squeal of pure joy my daughter makes over the simplest discovery and surprise.

When she was three or four, I would hide an object, usually a small stuffed animal, under a couch pillow and let her believe she had magic powers. “Say the magic words,” I said. And she would do her best to say words that sounded magical. I would press the object against the pillow, lifting them both, and “presto” it was gone. Then through some strategic tosses with my wife the object would make its way into another room in the house where my daughter would discover it. Magic; magical. To live and experience that moment and the look on her face of amazement and pride makes me the luckiest of men.

But not every story has a magical ending. There is the reality and responsibility of raising a daughter into this world and ensuring she experiences the joy of her own child’s mad happy scream one day. And I try not to be a pessimist when I look at the future that is not my own, but was part of my creation. I see peak oil capacity on the horizon, more people in prison than ever before, whorish government officials abusing their power, depleted fish in our oceans, and population growth this earth’s limited resources cannot support. And I worry. I worry a lot. And I feel helpless. A lot.

Couple these fears with my opinion of how low humanity can sink, including me, and I spend my days holding dark thoughts at bay. I’m not ready to buy a Mayan calendar yet, but I’m worried “something wicked this way comes.” And I feel like I should be doing more to prepare my wife and daughter for the day it shows up, though I hope it never does. I want to be proven wrong, but the math and science don’t look good.

I worry about my wife and daughter when I’m gone. They’re not as street smart as they should be. It’s not in them. They are good. I have seen more than I ever wanted to, or asked to. Been in situations I shouldn’t have been in. Done things in the past I’m not proud off. Sins may be forgiven, but they’re not forgotten.

I have no answers tonight. Just the need to get the thoughts and fears out and fill the open space in my head with solutions and positive thoughts. There is always a solution. Now I just have to think of one. People I love are depending on it.

Having a blog rocks! And so does Josh of Joshland!

If my daughter reads this blog one day, I hope she takes away the lesson that you can only get rewards in life if you take a first step in one direction or another. When I started writing this blog I had no idea it would return the level of support, intelligence, humor and kindness that it has. I’ve been blown away over the past year by the experience, as I thought I would attract two or three people who had read every page on the Internet and were down to mine. Like love, I find it best not to analyze anyone’s reading choice too deeply, lest the magic fade. I’m grateful for my new friends – I’ll leave it at that.

And then there is Josh from Joshland, a kind soul unlike any other who walks the walk of inner strength and positivity; a person who has experienced more than a reasonable amount of heartache in his life with cystic fibrosis and the death of his sister, Angie, from CF. Mere mortals might give up. Not Josh. He colors this world orange with his  crazy pal Moganko* and almost makes me want to believe in the goodness of humanity (almost, which is a future blog post).

So, what does this crazy friend of mine from the land of Vikings go and do? He creates two amazing graphics for me. The banner at the top of the page and the Unknown Graphic below. I opened my email and there they were – gifts for moi. And I like gifts. Yes, I am the luckiest person alive.

My humble thanks to Josh for the thoughtfulness and generosity. The banner will go into rotation immediately and appear randomly, depending on my mental state. Regarding the other graphic, I like admiring my handsome self in it. The resemblance is uncanny. Well done, Friend of Moganko.

Please raise your nebulizers for Josh tonight. Salute.

I rock in my purple shirt. Fox doesn't like the way he looks.

 

*There is some debate whether Moganko created the character Josh or vice versa. It’s a mystery that remains unsolved.

Facebook makes me want to kill myself

I was a Facebook holdout until this month. I overcame the privacy issues that worry me and signed up. But I’m not giving up the bag on my head – that’s my security blanket until I can afford plastic surgery. I joined because my friends live on FB and I feel like an outsider not being able to read their FB updates. Now I want to kill myself.

Don’t call 911 yet. I won’t be performing any crazy suicidal acts, like throwing myself from the hospital roof the next time I’m in, though the thought has crossed my mind. FB may make me want to end my days, but that’s different from actually doing it or something crazy like jumping in front of the annoying ice cream truck that drives through my neighborhood on weekdays when kids are in school (what’s up with that anyway?). However, Facebook makes me feel depressed and more of a loser than I already am.

I started by looking up old school friends and girlfriends. Big mistake. The school pals are all more successful than I am – my best friend in high school went to Stanford and Harvard and is president of a company. Ex-girlfriends are living in exclusive parts of cities and married to successful men who are doctors and dentists, or who split atoms with a device they made in their garage from beer cans and Lego. The common theme: you did better without me. I’m not that surprised.

Look, I’m not a complete loser (arguable). I had a delayed start with my life when the period for feeling sorry for myself ended (the end of that period is arguable too based on this blog, but let me feel good about myself for a few minutes). I started college late while my friends were more motivated and driven with better reasons to believe they would live long enough to take advantage of a college eduction. I had what we’ll call a “rough patch” near the end of high school. It lasted awhile. (Is it over? Again, arguable) I would like to have a “do-over” on that time in my life, please.

So, I’ll be quitting Facebook soon. I’ve seen enough. Once I find a way to become more successful, I’ll rejoin. Until then, I can’t take the daily FB searches of successful ex’s. If only I could find one homeless old school mate, or ex-girlfriend unable to get over me, who now fishes for meals in a trash dumpster every day. Once I discover that person, I promise I’ll accept his or her friend request immediately. Life can be just like the old days again – on Facebook.