Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tempus fugit

Today, August 2, is my father's birthday. If he were still alive, he would be NINETY-NINE years old. No, I'm not kidding. He only lived to be fifty-seven, the combination of a three-pack-a-day Chesterfield habit and an affinity for Pearl beer. He had a massive stroke, and that was that. I was just barely a sophomore in high school, and it thrust me right into having major family responsibilities. Another story, another day.

Above is a digital artist's trading card that I made for a "motherhood" swap with an online group. That is my father with his mother in 1910. How about that Gibson Girl hair and the tightly cinched waist on my grandmother?

Here's another digital scrapbook page I made of my father playing dominoes with his father well before I was born. The dominoes on the page are scans of the same ones they were playing with in the photo. I still have them in a box in my dresser.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year Plus One

The new year for me began with a whimper, not a bang. I can't get excited over much right now. I don't feel up to it. I don't care what Mike Huckabee is doing in the Iowa caucus, because I had enough of him while he was governor of this fair state. The presidential race seems like the biggest bunch of mudslinging yet, so I tend to tune it out completely. I will vote when the time comes. Leave me alone until then.

It's cold outside. I have few reasons to go out in it, except to take the steaming pizza from the hands of the driver whose pen won't write, so I have to go find my own to sign the delivery ticket. He probably thought me rude to leave him standing on the front porch. Better than inviting him in to see how many cats we have, and that we still have nothing on the bare concrete a year after I tore it up, and that there are still boxes sitting around that I've never had the energy to unpack. It will get better. It has to, someday.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I don't have the guts to keep on this way

While other people were busy shopping and going to holiday events, I've been sick. Another ghastly flare-up of Crohn's disease has knocked me in the dirt again. It started over a week ago, and I felt I could keep going and maybe it would subside. After all, it has before.

Not this time. Monday morning, I went to the local VA outpatient clinic and asked to see a doctor. When asked what was wrong, I gave the clerk at the desk a sanitized version of what really ailed me, and she was horrified. Heavens! I'll have to go confer with the nurse. Five minutes goes by, and she returns to tell me that the clinic here cannot help me at all, I should go to the ER. Meaning the ER downstairs. Now, I don't have any insurance, so I asked if the VA would pick up the tab for my visit to this local ER. She said that would have to be evaluated by the VA. I then asked if the nurse here could call the GI clinic at Memphis to possibly get me priority to be seen in the ER there. She said whoever does that would be in around 8:30 am, so have a seat. This was barely past eight.

I waited until a quarter after nine, then asked what was going on. Seems that they "couldn't reach anyone". I thanked her and said I would try something else. I just went home, because I didn't feel well enough to drive myself to Memphis.

Tuesday, I caught the DAV shuttle van to Memphis, and reported to the ER at eight. About nine, I was called to triage, and taken straight back to a bed in the ER proper. This is quite speedy, so it told me I did have some serious issues. A nurse came in to put in an IV port and to draw blood, with a promise of the doctor to see me soon.

I spent until almost 11pm on that uncomfortable gurney, but I did get seen by several doctors, had a CT scan done, x-rays, and more blood tests. The conclusion was that I had another fistula in that small portion of rectum I still own. Well, duh. When I am bleeding from two different orifices (orificii?) at the same time, I think I know what's wrong, since this is not the first time.

A note here: the ER staff was very good to me, and stayed up on my case while I was there.

A room was finally ready upstairs, and around 11pm I was transferred there. More people trooped in to see me, and I slept less than a couple of hours total. I was told I would be having a flex-sig in the morning. Oh joy.

Every time I end up in the hospital at the VA, I become a case study that they bring EVERYBODY in to see. I would reckon that would be due to the fact they seldom get to treat females there? I do have a somewhat unusual case history, and get to recite it many, many times over the course of a hospital stay. The Memphis VA uses the University of Tennessee Medical Branch to staff its residency, and there are plenty of med students to go around for the various departments. This time, I got the surgical team, the internal medicine team, AND the gastro-intestinal teams in on the party. Fun, fun, fun. No way I could complain for lack of attention.

The flex-sig was done, and they mercifully gave me a good dose of demerol before the exam. They found what they expected to find, and there are three options: treat me with increased dosages of the meds I already take, plus an antibiotic; treat me with another line of medications; or, surgically remove the offending piece of anatomy. We discussed it, and the way we will proceed is to medicate me for now, with surgery scheduled after the first of the year.

Not that I love surgery (which I most certainly do not), but this seems to be the best thing to do. I've gone through this a couple of times before, and do not want to wonder when the next flareup will send me back to the hospital. I want to be done with the problem. Or at least THIS part of the problem. There is no real cure for Crohn's.

I've had to wonder how they would do this, and the answer was that they will take the section out anally if at all possible to avoid cutting me down the center once again. I foresee a future of sitting on a donut pillow for a good while.

Wait a minute; if I don't have an a**hole, can I still be anal retentive? Will I still be able to have opinions? Questions to ponder in the universe...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A good read

As noted a couple of posts ago, a friend has managed to have her first book published. It's now available at major booksellers, so go order one! Northlander, by Meg Burden. A really good fantasy book suitable for young readers, and don't take my word for it, read the review here.

I went into the local Barnes & Noble and as I was ordering the book, casually mentioned that this was a new author/first published book, and that, btw, she is a friend of mine, and her editor has already asked her for the outline of the next in the series. This piqued the interest of the lady behind the counter, who then said she would order a couple extra for the shelf in the store. Yay!

So, my copy has arrived, and the book is fascinating. I've never been a huge fantasy reader, but I find myself at the end of a chapter at three in the morning and must make myself go to bed. The characters are very believable, and the storyline keeps twisting around enough that you don't second-guess it.

Highly recommend this book. Meg Burden might be the next JK Rowling.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A little fan art

This was put together in Photoshop from a photo I took of one of my action figures silhouetted in front of my computer monitor. I erased the monitor, dropped the silhouette in the layer in front, used a photo of the moon from a NASA website, on which I used a watercolor effect filter. The background is one I worked up as a paper for a scrapbooking kit. A slight bevel on the silhouette gave it a bit of definition from the background. Fun!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A monster a day...

I'd like for you to take a look at Feeping Creatures, created by a fellow I met first at Wizard World Texas a couple of years ago, and have seen at the past two CAPE (Comics And Pop culture Expo) events in Dallas. Dylan is a wonderful guy, and does the most amazing little sculptures that never cease to make me smile. I own a couple of the cat feeps myself.

Great stuff. Check it out. You need one. You know you do.