Sunday, July 31, 2005

The best plant in my backyard

Whenever I see it I think of my father. It's one of the plants I took from his garden after he died. It's called a "Bleeding Heart", and I think he brought it back from Cameroon (he was stationed there for three years with the State Department).

I miss my father a great deal.

In watching "A" and OurDog in the last few days, I am reminded again of how fast my father died.

On Thanksgiving day 2000, my dad told me that he had esophageal cancer. He had a tumor in his esophagus about the size of his fist. Makes it hard to eat turkey.

In January 2001, he began chemotherapy. I remember visiting him at the house during that time. He would spend the entire time on his chair in the living room, in and out of sleep. He was cold all the time. It was a chore for him to get up to pee.

In the first part of March, he went into the hospital for surgery. He did not leave the hospital alive. He would sing to my step-mother in Japanese (they met in Japan more than twenty years before).

He died on my eldest brother's birthday. My dad was 62.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thanks, R.J.

Changed my mind

I'm not going to explain yesterday's post anymore than I already have.

No one would stick around for the entire thing. I started to write it this evening, and didn't get through the first two hours and it was already 500 words long.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Today was not such a good day, really.

I am trying to get my head around it. And it is too late tonight for me to even try to start a post on it.

Maybe in the morning.

It wouldn't be so hard for me, because I CAN type with all of my fingers. But I have to fight with my keyboard because half of the keys don't work since I dropped it. I can't even remember when or why I dropped it.

But I digress.

Here's the Reader's Digest version:

1. Cat wakes me up before alarm goes off.
2. Bloodwork at 0715 hours.
3. Phlabotomist screws up.
4. Get to work on time, computers still not working.
5. Call from doctor, issues with tests. {Beginging of FREAK OUT}
5. Computers still fucked up, expected to do my job anyway.
6. Freak out (and by that I mean crying and sobbing) when I am within two miles of making it to the house, while driving in traffic.

I'll try to fill in the blanks tomorrow.

I tried Coca-Cola Zero today.

It did not make me feel like this.

In fact, it sucked.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

For the record...

John Roberts will be confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice.

I just wanted to say that.

I read this post the other day...

And couldn't agree more.

Listen. I don't have a "Big Important Political Blog", nor am I concerned if people read it. Sure, it would be nice and a big boost to my ego. But shit, it just ain't all that.

Before I read his post, I was blogrolled only here ... as far as I knew. Anywhere else I didn't know about. So I devised a test.

Since he said he'd blogroll ANYONE that blogrolled him, I took the bait. Besides the fact that I enjoyed reading his blog, even though he is obviously a straight man (ewe, icky pooh), what he had to say made sense.

Between 24 and 36 hours later, I noticed that he had added me to his blogroll.

Amazing. A straight man who keeps his word. I didn't know they did that.

It hasn't been my experience up to now that ANY man spoke the truth. There has always been the "with a grain of salt" thing applied afterward.

I am still trying to figure out what the reports that I receive regarding visitors to this blog mean. I did figure out today that most visitors that have a blog in a different language probably got here through that little "Next Blog" button on the top left of the blog.

Discovery lifts off without issue...

That's all.

I watched on NASA TV, until it came in view from the office.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Via Here, I got here.

Not child safe, nor safe for work.

Watch the video. Really, watch it all the way through. I got more than a little turned on, and I haven't been with a woman in, well, a really long time.

I just kept picturing the different household items I've used for similar, uhm.. er.. positions, throughout my life.

Wondering two things at this point.

1) Why didn't I think of this first?


2) Do I think my neighbors will notice when mine is received in the mail?

Update to...

This post.

I remembered which one it was. Actually, I didn't remember, I got hit upside the head with a clue stick and looked at the History in my web browser.

Uhm.... Duh!

I see some similarities in our lives, except that I have not lost TheHusband, yet. I always used to think that he'd go first, but after what has gone on in the last few weeks, I am not so sure any more.

I had another dizzy spell today.

New Diet Coke Commercial

Uhm.... who is the Homo in the new Diet Coke commercial? (click on the one titled "Loft")

No. Really. I want to know.

It almost makes me want to drink Diet Coke.

Out of his belly hair.

The red socks have to go, though.

Quick Hits...

... Went to visit "A" in Hospice on Saturday. A group visit of about 10 "friends" of his. I say that in quotes because I think anyone that hasn't been involved in visiting him or supporting his other half in the last, say, six months, can't be much of a friend, IMHO. I don't think he will be with us much longer.

... OurDog is not doing very well. We took him with us ^^^^ and he did fine. Spent some good quality time laying on the bed with "A", both of them in and out of sleep. He is laying down more, especially inside where it is nice and cool (the weather here, as well as everywhere else, has been unbareably hot, so maybe he's the smart one). He has been eating less and less, but when we talk to him, he is still wagging his tail - most times.

... I had a dizzy spell on Saturday night. Not much to worry about, I think. Sometimes a dizzy spell is just a dizzy spell.

... Someone was finally let back outside after a bit of healing time. Someone also stayed out all night long and came back home with the exact same injury. Someone, consiquently, will not be allowed out for a very, very long time.

... I've spent some time reading other's blogs this weekend. I've added them to my blogroll. Please visit them. Two in particular, I went back and read from the begining. There was another that I found through Queer Filter, but I forgot to bookmark it, so I have no idea what the URL is now. I'm sure I'll find it again.

... What is wrong with me that I cannot find a job that I am completely happy with for longer than six months? I don't like being outright lied to. If you tell me you are going to do something, why do I expect you to do it, and when you don't, I am completely disappointed?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Saw the bill on my Insurance Company's Web site...

... and all I can say, really, is thank the gods for them. Sure, I still have to pay $2000 that I don't have, but really, if I didn't have them, then I'd be paying about $15,000 that I don't have.

You may have to click on the picture a couple of times to read it.

I really do want to know, BTW, why a doctor that I saw for less than five minutes charges well over $400.00.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Uneventful weekend...

TheHusband and I (who am I kidding, he did most of the work...) put up a roof over our porch over the weekend. I painted the underside, just so's you know.

OurDog is doing okay. We've decided to buy canned cat food to mix with his food. Anything to get him to eat it.

I think the abcess is returning. I am having "pain" in my left underarm. Some stiffness under the skin also. Nothing has protruded past the skin line yet, so I wait and wonder.

I have blood work scheduled for next week, so we'll see how it goes.
I still want/need an answer to this, if you have the time.

Monday, July 18, 2005

My little bookends

Normally, for some reason, they can be found on opposite ends of the couch. They are twins, and it takes a while for the untrained eye to tell them apart. One has green eyes and a black spot on his nose, the other has gold eyes and a (very light) brown spot on his nose. When the were kittens, they each had corresponding spots of hair on the tops of their heads. That went away with time.

And yes, one of them is this one.

Ignore my slippered toe in the bottom of the picture. And, yes, I know it isn't Friday.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Some words that have no business in Kindergarten...


Is anyone else as intrigued by this show as I am?

I gotta get the DVD. I hate coming in late to the party.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Some good news from yesterday

I got a call from our friend "D".

Seems his other half was moved to Hospice care, but it was his first day in two weeks that he knew who he was and what was happening. "D" had spent a few hours telling "A" what all was wrong with him. They spent a bit of time crying, and then "D" said that he didn't want to spend the rest of "A"s life crying. It was time to get over it and start fighting.

So I called TheHusband and we left work early and went home to get OurDog. We took him to visit "A". It was their first visit together in almost three weeks.

Seeing them both together ("A" and OurDog) was kind of sad. Knowing that they both might die very soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Frankenstein III - The Cat of Frankenstein

Believe it or not, he's on the road to recovery.
That hole was twice as big the other day. Lots of Neosporan. It's closing by itself. He can't touch it much... just rubs his head on us when it itches. I can't feel too sorry for him... he's such a bully, outside the house anyway.

When one goes outside and Tom-cat's around in a neighborhood one doesn't know very well, one might get beaten up once or twice.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

If you only have 30 days...

If you only have 30 days or so, according to your doctor... what would you do?

OurDog has "about" that. The Vet says we should only feed him the "special" food that we purchased directly from him. We have no problem with that, of course.

But if OurDog doesn't always want to eat said "special" food, what do we do?

I say... If he's going to die anyway, let him die happy.

Mix the food with something he'll eat, like... say... chicken.... steak... tuna... whatever.

I understand. The Vet says that the food he's prescribing is "best" for the dog. Works best for his kidneys and his liver. But the dog is going to die in the next 30 days or so.

What is the harm?

Monday, July 11, 2005

I hate being "not at work"...

What a pile of work to walk back into this morning.

I understand that no one is paid to do what it is that I do... and that no one even knows what all I do everyday, but, sheesh.

Could I have not started to faint during a week that I didn't receive (at work, for work) the equivalent of my entire years salary in check payments? Where the technicians weren't walking out fulfilling orders that took "my" inventory (i.e. not mine, but I'm responsible for it...) without screwing it all up? Not that I think it's the Tech's fault, 'cause I don't. It's that if I am not there, then it all gets fucked up, and I hate to clean up other peoples messes.

"They", meaning the corporate office, called me up for our typical Monday morning telecon this a.m. They asked if I could provide new installation date for them. I said... "uhm... no. Not really. I've been languishing on my deathbed in the hospital for the last three workdays, and have a pile of work on my desk and I have no where to start. Plus, I have about 59 emails and voice mail's galore to answer/look at, so no. I don't have any answers for them this morning. Any more questions?"

Did they think I was answering e-mails from the Emergency Room?

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Does anybody celebrate the mini-milestones anymore?

500 viewers as of this morning.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Home from the hospital...

So I thought last weekend was bad. This weekend is a bit better, as I came home from the hospital a few hours ago.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago how bad AZT was for me about nine years ago. Well, as I also said, Trizivir has AZT in it too. And I’ve been taking it for the last six months. My doctor thought since the dosage was lower and mixed with two other drugs, it would be okay. Turns out it wasn’t.

I said I was sick the other day. I stayed home from work on Wednesday and felt well enough that I planned on going into work on Thursday. In the evening, my stomach felt a bit queasy. I made some broth for dinner. Right as I took the last sip from my cup, I felt nauseous. I stood up and walked quickly to the bathroom in my study. I never made it.

I woke up with my body on the floor of the den and my head in the living room. I’d vomited a bit on the floor, but not enough. I got up, went into the bathroom, continued vomiting, blew my nose, wiped my face down with a cold cloth, and looked for blood (we have no carpets in the new house, all stone tile). Then I went to get TheHusband. I told him what happened, and asked him to look at the back of my head for blood. He saw none. I started worrying. I wetted down another washcloth because I was sweating my ass off suddenly. I felt for bruises. On my right eyebrow was a little lump, a sore spot on the back of my right forearm, and a sore spot on my right-lower hip. I’d obviously tried to protect my head as I fainted. So I went to bed.

The next morning, I still wasn’t feeling right and opted to call in to work again. I asked TheHusband to call our doctor and have an appointment made for me. All set. We were to be there at 10:00 for labs and 11:30 to see the doctor. At 9:00 I poured myself some OJ and took my morning dosage. I am watching the coverage of the London bombings here at my desk. The minute I finished the last sip of OJ, I’m feeling queasy again. It might be six steps from here to my bathroom. I didn’t make it. TheHusband found me a few minutes later face down on the floor, half in this room, half in the bathroom. The first thing I did was crawl to the toilet and puke up the OJ. TheHusband continues to freak out. I look at myself in the mirror for blood on my head. Nothing except a bigger lump on my left eyebrow. Huge. After cleaning my face, I went in to the bedroom to wait until it was time to leave for the doctor’s office and TheHusband brought me some ice in a cloth for my eyebrow.

About 15 minutes later, it was time to go. I yelled out that it was time and walked to the doorway. I was dizzy again, so I leaned up against the door jam. TheHusband asked me if I was dizzy, to which I replied, “Yes”, and he tried to help me sit in a chair. I never made it. At least, I don’t remember sitting down. The next thing I remember, I was laying on the floor with my head resting on my left forearm. He was trying to slip a pillow under my head (remember – stone tiles for floor), and I was asking for a bucket to puke into.

He got me one while he was on the phone with 911.

Suddenly there was a fury of activity and about 12 very nice looking young paramedics in my living room, all of them looking at my silly ass lying on the floor. Too bad I’m not into younger men.

Extremely professional, extremely alert. Amazing how well they all seemed to work together, too. The take my temp, my blood pressure, check to ensure I hadn’t had a heart attack (?!?). All good. Just a bit sweaty from passing out. I apologized to them for that. I also said that it was probably a reaction to one of the drugs I was on for the HIV.

They put me into a stretcher, buckled me in, and rolled me down the sidewalk to the ambulance. Going out the door I reminded TheHusband to grab my meds and my glasses. Inside the ambulance crew, both women, greet me. Where had these two women come from, I wondered. As she told me how my face was quite a bit whiter than the shirt I was wearing, I watched TheHusband follow us in the truck. I saw him calling someone on the phone, and I worried about him using the phone, driving, and worrying about me all at the same time.

With no flashing lights or siren, we arrived within 15 minutes. The admitting nurse asks me a few questions and within another 15 minutes, I’m in an exam room. From there, I wait. And wait some more.

I’m in there for about 12 hours. I get a chest X-ray (?!?) and a CAT scan. The chest X-ray I do not get, but the CAT scan is to rule out any problems from knocking my noggin on the floor two or three times.

As usual, I kept telling everyone that I was anemic because of the AZT in the Trizivir. Everyone. The nurses, the ID doctor on staff, the Internist on staff, everyone. I told them to call my doctors at the VA to confirm. I told them to consult their own hospital records to confirm, as I’d been admitted to THEIR own RIO ward in 1996 with the same symptoms. No one was listening to me. Meanwhile, TheHusband calls the VA himself and gets the prescription changed. He goes there and fills it and brings it back to the ER, where I still am. About 8:00 p.m., I told TheHusband to go home. He needed to check on OurDog as he’d been there for the entire day by himself.

After he left, the Internist on staff came in. He confirmed that I was anemic (uhm…. DUH!!), that I needed four pints of blood, and they were going to do some more tests on me before letting me go home. I’d probably be in there through the weekend. He said I needed an EEG and a MRI to rule out epilepsy or other causes of seizures. He wondered where all that blood had gone, so I’d probably need an Upper GI and a Colonoscopy to look for the blood anywhere in there.

I immediately objected, as my depression grew. I didn’t need any invasive tests to tell me what was wrong. I KNEW what was wrong. I was TELLING him what was wrong. Why wasn’t he LISTENING to me? If he didn’t want to talk to me, the patient that had been living with this particular disease longer than he’d even been a doctor then he should have picked up the phone and called my GP, my ID, or spent some time with their own staff ID. After a few minutes he left, resolved to do as he wanted.

TheHusband called me a bit later and could tell right away that I was depressed. He told me not to worry about anything the doctor had said and that he’d be there first thing in the morning before work. Right then, they came to take me to my room. I spent the night getting little sleep. A constant flow of people came into my room to check my blood pressure, take my temperature, check my blood-oxygen level, change my IV, put on another pint of blood. It was making me crazy.

The next morning TheHusband was there around 0730. I related to him what this doctor had said and he told me to tell the doctor no. Just no. No unnecessary and extremely invasive tests—just refuse them. I showed him the first black eye I've had in my life:

Around 10:00 someone came to get me for the EEG. I’ve had one as a child (migraines), so I knew it wasn’t that big a deal. Lay here… let me put these sticky electrodes all over your head… dark room… when I say so, blink your eyes fast and furious, then keep them closed, then lay there perfectly still and try to sleep. Arrived back in my room around noon. Eat lunch and give a stool sample, not necessarily in that order.

Doctor Dufus shows up around 2:30. He starts in again about all these tests. I asked if anything had been found in my chest X-ray, the CAT, the stool sample or the EEG. He said nothing in the first two, but the last two weren’t back yet. I said that since the X-ray was fine, the CAT scan was fine, if the stool sample came back with no blood in it and the EEG came back normal that I would not be submitting myself to any further tests. He goes on and on and on about he knows best and he’s a doctor and I need these tests to rule out epilepsy and seizures and cancer and blah blah blah. I about lost it. I told him I was certainly not going to take any more tests that he ordered and that he could just get used to it. So he asked if that meant I wanted to sign out AMA. I said yes and turned away from him, so he left. I called TheHusband and told him what happened and to come and get me.

About 30 minutes later, my nurse (nice woman, but she had quite an accent that I had a hard time with) brought in her supervisor, a man about my age (or gods forbid, a bit younger).

For the first 15 minutes of the next conversation, all I heard him say was that if I left the hospital AMA that my insurance company would pay for NOTHING. I heard nothing else and shut down. I was disappointed, and agreed to stay. I called TheHusband and told him to forget about coming to get me, that I was staying. He asked why, so I repeated what I’d heard. He said not to worry about it, that he’d be there soon.

Once he got there, I had him find the nurse that had explained everything. He said that I had every right to refuse invasive procedures, but that I shouldn’t leave without having basic tests done. He meant the results of the blood-in-the-stool test and the latest hemoglobin. Well, the stool test came back negative (yeah!!), which meant there was no reason for the Colonoscopy. TheHusband went out to check on OurDog again.

After a bit, the Neurologist came in and said that the CAT scan was perfect and so was the EEG. There was no reason for a MRI. Score another one for me.

Then Doctor Dufus came in to see me again. He said that he was told that I would stay and he was glad I’d changed my mind. I told him that he hadn’t won, that I was aware that all tests that I’d taken so far had come back negative, and I was waiting on one final hemoglobin test that he’d ordered. If that test came back good (anything over 9.0), that I’d be leaving, and I wouldn’t be leaving AMA, nor would I be having any additional tests. I then turned away as if to dismiss him.

He asked why I was being so difficult with him. This may or may not have been the best question for him to ask me. So I said it and I’m glad I did.

“You are the type of doctor that doesn’t listen to his patient. This is not a good thing, especially a patient that has had a disease that you have not specialized in and has had the disease longer than you have been a doctor. I understand your need to be thorough, but sometimes, less is more. There is no need for expensive and unnecessary tests. And mostly, that is what you are ordering and relying on. It does not seem that you’ve consulted with the ID doctor in this hospital that is working with me, nor have you consulted my own GP or ID that actually knows my case.”

I don’t think he said very much as he left the room. The male nurse came back in later and told me that Doctor Dufus has written one last Hemoglobin test into my record and if it came back good, I could sign out. I was to have the test done at 3:00 a.m. and he’d given word that he’d make his rounds by mid-morning. The first thing I said when I heard that was that he’d stretch “mid-morning” to 11:30.

I was sort of right. At 11:30 a different doctor showed up. He said he was “taking Dr. Dufus’ rounds for the day”.


He said my Hemoglobin looked downright good and I needed no further tests. I should check with “my” doctor next week and could go home as soon as the nurses had done the discharge paperwork.

I finally got to check out around 1:00.

Nothing was better than that first smoke when I got to the car.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

In truth, it wasn't such a good weekend

I had a headache everyday, and the Tylenol wouldn't get it to go away. I woke up yesterday with a fever of 101.5. By the time I went to work, I got it down to 99.5. If I hadn't gone to work, I would have not gotten paid for two days, so I went anyway. Luckily, I was there by myself for most of the day. Lots of breaks, sitting down on the fluffy guest couch with my eyes closed. I started to leave at noon, but figured with everyone out, I could probably make it to the end of the day. When I got home I went straight to bed. Every time I woke up it was in a pool of sweat. I woke up around 7:30 and TheHusband brought me some tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

I stayed home today.

Bad news about TheDog. He's getting more and more listless. Sometimes he is happy happy. Eats well, drinks water, pees and poops. Sometimes he spends hours upon hours just laying on the floor. It makes us wonder if he knows what the doctor said on Friday.

Went to see our friend in the hospital. I was taken back in time to the 90's. Seeing all those people dying in the hospital. The best thing about the late 90's was the advancement in AIDS medications. They stopped people from dying, as long as they took them.

My friend wouldn't take them, because he didn't want anyone to know.

Great reason, eh?

He doesn't even recognize us anymore. He forgets to speak English (he's an immigrant). He has to have someone with him 24/7 because he keeps trying to tear out his IV. He is tied down to his bed.

His husband is at his wits end. He's trying to run the house, run their business, visit him in the hospital, eat. A lot of things. I've offered to do laundry for him. I've taken him food so he didn't have to worry about cooking. We took the dog. TheHusband has helped out at the business.

Being there for him just doesn't seem like enough.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!!!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Not good news...

The tumor is twice as big in less than two weeks. The vet has given him about 30 days.

And he actually LOST a pound. How is that possible? He's eaten 2 cans of dog food for the last week. He hasn't and DOESN'T shit that much. Where in the hell is all that food going.

Make Sure You Signal First!!

New laws goes into affect here in Florida.

1. You can't change lanes while driving on the roads here without first signaling.

2. They've upped the fine from $65 to $125 for running a red light.

3. They can pull you over if you have a passenger under the age of 18 who is not buckled-up. (Previously, this was a secondary infraction, and couldn't pull you over for "it", but would ticket you for it if they pulled you over for something else, such as running a red light, speeding, tail light out, or DWB.)
On another note Someone has to go back to the doctor for a one-week checkup today. He really IS doing a lot better in the last few days. When I got home from work yesterday he had almost made it the entire day without pee-ing on the floor. I got him outside and he pee'd some more (and for almost two minutes!!) and then he pooped. A good healthy SOLID poop. Then we went for a walk. Not a long one, he still gets tired pretty easy.

Funny though, on Wednesday he acted like he wanted to go for a walk. We got to the end of the driveway and he turned around. I thought he wanted to go the other direction. When he headed up between mine and theHusband's car, I figured it was raining too much for him to want to walk (he doesn't like the rain). So I headed up to the front door. No dog. He was standing in between the cars looking at the passenger side of my car. He wanted to go for a ride. I laughed out loud! He was feeling that good.