Category Archives: illness

Vaccination Day

Yep, today I have an appointment to get a vaccination against Covid 19. Sure, I have to drive all the way to Fort Worth during rush hour to get there. And, yes, I have had bad reactions to flu vaccines in the past. But I am going to do this because it is worth all the risk to get a 90+% guarantee that I might be able to survive this pandemic.

Making your way in the world today is complex and daunting, especially when your poor health leaves you in pain every single day. You reach a point where you get depressed and wonder if it wouldn’t be better to just be done with it once and for all. I am certainly not going to die unfulfilled. I feel like I have contributed more than I have consumed. The world is slightly better for the fact that I have lived in it. But I am addicted to living my life, even with its complications. I need more of it if I can get it.

And this vaccine is not like the dead-virus vaccines that caused me pain in the past. It is new technology, a synthesized vaccine achieved by timely harvesting and decoding of the virus before it burst onto the world scene. It is the same sort of eleventh-hour solution that we will need to rely on in eight short years to rescue us from extinction by human-caused climate change. Momentous events are in the offing because they have to be. We are an inventive species, and we will either invent our way out of multiple existential crises or we will wipe ourselves out much faster than the dinosaurs were closed out.

But that’s all serious stuff. And this is supposed to be Funny Friday. So, Mickey, how do you rectify that mismatch?

Well, the Wizard in my Paffooney for the the day, Eli Tragedy, is basically a buffoon. His magical spells are mostly a matter of either dumb luck or extremely unfortunate blunders that magically turn out to benefit rather than destroy. Much in the same way that Big Pharma corporate wizards poofed up the vaccines.

And Mickey, as old Eli’s apprentice, can steal his master’s magic hat long enough to miscast his spells to the point that the world is awash in gallon after gallon of laughing-juice. And despite the troubles Mickey will be in, lessons will be learned.

So, here’s to vaccination! Today is my opportunity. May the cure not kill me, and let’s give life another chance.

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Filed under health, humor, illness, wizards

A Second Broken Spring Break

Spring Break, a year ago, was the start of the pandemic for me and proved to be the end of my limited time as a substitute teacher. We went into lockdown and my bedroom became my bunker for the duration of the Covid War.

My family went on a jaunt to Colorado for part of that week, as Texas was not yet a seriously infected land. But knowing how much my health issues made me a risk of contracting death by the disease, I stayed home with the dog and number two son. In 2021, my family went for three days to visit relatives in San Antonio. I was alone at home with the dog once again. There are odd parallels between that Spring Break and this one.

I hadn’t used the gingerbread house kit that I had bought for Christmas 2019. So, we broke that out, put it together (my daughter and I after she got back from Colorado) and ate it.

It so happens I now have a gingerbread castle that wasn’t used during Christmas 2020, so I have vowed it will get made, photographed, and eaten this coming weekend.

I had finished a manuscript for a new novel in February, and I edited it during the Spring Break 2020.

It was my novel about a nudist family called A Field Guide to Fauns. It was published in March of 2020.

I don’t have another novel ready to be published this Spring Break, but I will do a free promotion of the Field Guide this coming weekend.

The pandemic brought an end to my teaching career as I will never again have the physical strength or freedom from arthritis pain that it takes to stand in front of a classroom all day. Being confined to the bunker all day every day has worsened all my health conditions.

All my plans for visiting nudist parks went pretty much the same way. My psoriasis has worsened and made me more susceptible to the ravages of hot sunlight. Even though I know more nudists now than I ever had before, most of the ones I know live in England, France, and California. So, no one will be able to go with me to a nudist camp as my family won’t even contemplate the idea. I have relatives who are quite happy that the pandemic probably ended that part of my life as well. No more Mickey the Nudist.

But the big difference between last Spring Break and this one is the fact that I am now on the waiting list for a vaccination. It is just possible that the whole horrible ordeal will both begin and end with Spring Break.

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Filed under autobiography, humor, illness, Paffooney

Diminishing Garden Blossoms

The last two months have really been tough on me health-wise. And I am afraid it cuts deeply into my writing output. Today, as an example, I had planned to have a lot more done on the preparations for this essay. It will be short because I am not feeling well once again. I have already fainted once while writing before I got to this sentence.

This was supposed to be a post about the alien beings living on a newly discovered planet in the book I am currently writing These are the vegatoid plant people of the planet Cornucopea. Luigi the Onion-Guy is here being threatened by thorns from the evil Throckpod storm trooper. Luigi’s co-pilot, Carrot Mabutu, is standing behind the human-eyed villain.

But because of diabetes I am feeling too low to share everything I wanted to share. So, I guess it ends here for today.

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Filed under aliens, humor, illness, Paffooney

Mickey Being Mickey

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A new day dawns.  It leaves me wondering.  Who am I today?  Who will I be tomorrow?

The opportunity to have any sort of control over who and what I am is coming to a close.  I don’t really know how much longer I have before pain and illness dissolve me into nothingness.  But death is not the end of existence. I may be forgotten totally by the day after next Thursday, but my existence will still have become a permanent fact.  Yes, I am one of those dopey-derfy-think-too-much types known as an existentialist.

I am feeling ill again.  Any time that happens may be the last time.  But that doesn’t worry me.

 

 

The important thing is that the dance continues.  It doesn’t matter who the dancers are, or who supplies the music.

We can be clowns if we choose to be.

We can safely be fools if we really can’t help it.

An awful lot of awful things go into who and what we are.  Those things make us full of awe.  They make us awesome.  Aw, shucks.  What an awful thing to say.

 

But what is all this stuff and nonsense really about today?

It’s just Mickey being Mickey… Mickey for another day.

It’s not really poetry.  It certainly isn’t wisdom.  It’s a little bit funny, and only mildly depressing… for a change.

It’s just Mickey being Mickey.  And a partially Paffooney gallery.

…To fill some space today.

And wonder about tomorrow.

And just be Mickey a little bit more.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, cartoony Paffooney, commentary, goofy thoughts, humor, illness, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Sick of Being Sick

I woke up late this morning with a headache and my eyes crusted shut. Sick again. Not Covid. My temperature is 37 C. I have no symptoms that correspond. I am suffering instead from allergies. And high blood pressure. And diabetes. And arthritis. As well as psoriasis and COPD. Six of them. Six incurable diseases on top of being a cancer survivor since 1983. Soon I may be facing diabetic depression. It is crucial that I constantly take stock of my health conditions. It is how I have stayed alive for 64 years.

Being unhealthy is really hard work.

The dog and I were talking about it during our limping walk this morning. She’s been suffering too since she found and gobbled my wife’s secret chocolate stash. She nearly destroyed her liver, kidneys, and digestive tract by doing that stupid, greedy act of theft. Now she’s on milk-thistle supplements to keep from dying. At ten years of age, she’s the equivalent of a seventy-year-old woman.

“We have to keep walking on our walks together. Our lives depend on the good effects the exercise has on out hearts,” she says.

“Okay. I agree as long as you don’t make me sniff bird poo the way you do.”

So, we finally have an understanding on that one point.

I need to keep laughing too.

I have been adding a lot of comedies to my Disney+ watchlist. My Netflix watchlist too.

I need to write more too. I haven’t really written anything beyond my daily 500 words more than three times in the last two weeks.

I have novel projects ready to start; The Boy Who Rose on a Golden Wing, There’s Music in the Forest, and Kingdoms Under the Earth.

I have projects still to finish; AeroQuest 4 : The Amazing Aero Brothers. and Hidden Kingdom.

I simply need to re-energize my daily writing habit. I need to write more things that make me laugh again. I need to write a lesser number of things that make me cry as well.

These things all represent my reasons to go on living.

So, I am sick and relegated to my bed again today. The sad thing is, that doesn’t vary much from any regular day during the pandemic. It is hard to stay well. I need to eat very carefully, noting the numbers of carbs and not getting too little of the right kinds of proteins. More peanut-butter sandwiches and chili with beans. Soup is good food. I need to stay warm and keep my psoriasis sores as clean as possible. I need to stay near the airflow of my electric fan to keep me breathing well. I have a new heating pad, inherited from my recently deceased father, and I need to apply heat wisely to my lower back for just the right amount of time. And I must keep fighting to stay alive. My eldest son has threatened to kill me if I die on him before he’s ready to lose me. (I never bothered to ask him how that consequence happens.)

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Filed under battling depression, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, health, humor, illness, Paffooney

What the Lord Hath Given…

You know how that Bible lesson goes, right? What He hath given, He can also take away. And the Bible doesn’t suggest He ever owes us any explanation. God is subject to capricious whims, apparently.

This is part of the reason why I often have doubts about the fairness of most religions. How do you worship that which is cold, uncaring, and capricious? And yet, to say there is no God above… or below… is anathema to the way I was raised and the fundamental structures of my moral and inner self.

If there is no God, then why is there any life at all? Life is complex and intricately ordered. How can that be if the universe is random and mindless? Physics already says all order is headed for eventual chaos. Our chance to control the climate crisis and save the planet is now down to seven more years. If we don’t get our act together before 2027, we are doomed. What is the need for order at all? Why do you need to have a counterpoint to chaos if there is no underlying point to the whole process?

Philosophical questions like this are why what I really am is a pure and simple agnostic. I am open to all possible answers. But I have no scale to weigh any of it.

One way that the Lord is taking things away right now is through the capitalist system worshipped by wealthy and greedy men. Especially the Septuagenarian Mutant Turtle currently in charge of the Senate. He and his billionaire mutant overlords don’t want to raise the national debt to help ordinary people through the Covid crisis and the economic chaos it caused, even though they were fine with ballooning the debt in 2017 to give tax breaks to billionaires and corporations while actually raising taxes on pensioners like me.

My house is falling apart. I can raise no extra income because of the pandemic. And the bank is making noises about balloon payments and raising the specter of homelessness for the four of us.

Muckman! Ta-ta-ta-tah! He who slays evil with the foul stench from his unwashable armpits.

And, of course, the biggest thing God may soon take away is my very life. I am having problems with high blood pressure, fainting spells, and numerous symptoms that could easily be interpreted as the onset of Parkinson’s, the disease that took my father’s life. Of course, going into the clinic to find out for sure could financially sink me, as well as infect me with Covid and kill me even though I previously survived my son’s experience with the disease without becoming infected.

This January and February are expected to be the worst part of t the pandemic that we have yet experienced.

But this little exercise in philosophical whining and complaining will, in the long run, do nobody any good. I don’t blame a God for my troubles because of the atheist in me. I know difficult times lay ahead for everybody, not just me. And just as Muckman, the superhero, turns his unfortunate condition of nearly-deadly body odor into his super-power for fighting evil guys, I need to turn my misfortunes into something good.

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Filed under angry rant, artwork, commentary, grumpiness, humor, illness, Paffooney

The Surprises We Are Made From

I was amazed when I awoke this morning, not stuffed-up and apparently dying. I really expected this last bout of flu to be the end of me. I figured I had only lasted this long by sheer luck and the grace of whatever gods really do flit about us and don’t ignore us completely. I figured Covid would claim me by the end of this week. After all, I have COPD, genetic heart issues, high blood pressure, and diabetes. But if it was Covid 19, which most likely it was not, it turned out to be one of the milder flus I have endured in the last decade. Yesterday, the fifth day, was the worst day. And, like has happened more than fifteen times since 2008, the following day sees me feeling almost completely better. I had H1N1 twice according to the flu tests I took. Once for each f the strains of that particular epidemic. I have had severe bronchitis three times, and spent a week in the hospital with pneumonia once. The biggest surprise was that I hadn’t succumbed to this whole awful virus business before now. Every extra day I am given is a new surprise.

I had some other surprises. I got the results back from a book review I requested through the Pubby book-review cooperative I am working with. The Pubby author’s desktop had told me the review for Magical Miss Morgan was going to be a four-star review. The actual review, once Amazon approved it, was actually only a three-star review. The reviewer was apparently a former teacher who took issue with some of Miss Morgan’s classroom decisions and also objected to some name-calling in the book. Name-calling? The only name-calling I recall comes from students making jokes about unpleasant teachers’ names, and some fairy racial slurs used against other fairies. The fire-wisps are known for a lack of intelligence since their bodies are literally made of magical fire, leading inescapably to the whole race being hot-headed.

I am not upset about the poor rating. I expect some people not to like my books for any number of reasons. And it is refreshing to see a reviewer giving a specific criticism and proving she actually read the book. That is much better than the reviewer of Recipes for Gingerbread Children, a book about a Holocaust survivor who makes her peace with the world by telling fairy tales to children, who gave it five stars for having “very good recipes for gingerbread cookies.” That faker not only didn’t read the book, he didn’t even look at the basic information in the review request.

It would’ve been nice, though, if Pubby had been more accurate about reporting the number of stars. That’s not the kind of surprise I really enjoy, even if I did learn from it.

The third surprise I had today was how easy it was to reclaim my Hulu account. I have been paying for it right along, but I lost access to it when the last TV in the house burned out its screen. I couldn’t transfer it to my laptop because I was sharing the account with my eldest son who doesn’t live in our house anymore. I could not change the password because he was still using it, and the account would not recognize my laptop without changing the old password. Finally, a month after my son got his own account, I was able to reach Hulu programming once again by resetting the password. I was really surprised that a months-long problem was dispatched in less than ten minutes.

Surprises, both good and bad, actually shape our lives. The performers I used as illustrations all entertained me by surprising me. I learned things from them my whole life… and I am still learning from them. In Chaplin’s case, I even learned from the surprise of who he turned out to really be. Not such a mice man. I was also surprised by how good of a person Fred Rogers turned out to actually be. And it is surprising how much Red Skelton’s difficult life and heart-felt comedy actually helped make me be the kind of man I came to be, whether you think that is good or bad in itself.

And that is all I have to say abut that. Surprise!

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Filed under humor, illness, insight

The Sickening…

Today I am totally bloogelbombardoed. Seriously, there is not a better word for how I feel at the moment. I have a viral infection with no fever. Just body aches, a bad case of the blahs, and sinuses that won’t let me rest, or even stop leaking out the nose for more than fifteen seconds at a time. My trash is full of used Kleenex and toilet tissue that took over when the Kleenex box ran out.

I have to seriously worrywarticize the whole problem because my wife and daughter have returned from the Florida Disney World Reunion of the Filipino Sisters during the Thanksgiving Week, which they technically should have canceled due to Covid Crisisism.

I am staying warm, trying unsuccessfully to rest in bed, and drinking lots and lots of Mickenlooney Go-Juice (the Mickian words for Diet Dr. Pepper.) Fortified and warmalized by frequent cups of sugar-free hot chocolate. Carefully monitoring how close or how far I am away from deathualization.

But here’s why it shouldn’t actually be Covid 19. No fever. Good sense of smell. No vomiting. No breathing problems that weren’t there already before I got sick.

Still, my plan is to get tested if I am still sick after Friday (the seventh day after exposure and the fifth day of feeling bloogelbombardoed.) My wife will be mad at me for it, because it will put her on homebound quarantine again from school and her classroom. But, I figure that is a fair enough thing, because if I am Convidinated, either she or my daughter, the Princess, brought it home to me. Just because you may be asymptomatic, that doesn’t make you virus free.

If it is the pandemic virus, then so far my body is handling it rather well, underlying conditions and all. I know that could change quickly, and this post may be my swansong singy-thingy, my goobye-seeyalater to the world. But I hope not.

Did you learn any Mickian words from this blog-posty-thingy? If you did, I hope you never try to use them. It’s not that I hold a copyright or anything, but these words are generally frowned upon by the society we live in. And I have it on good authority that factory warranties of these words have all expired, so they might break down, blow up, or just generally make English teachers and editors mad. Oh, and Kleenex is not emboldicized because it is NOT a Mickian word. Some stupifyingly stupid corporation is guilty of that wildly Mickianesque weird spelling. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

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Filed under health, humor, illness, Paffooney, word games, wordplay

Softly, Slowly… and with Regret

Many things are coming to an end. My father’s life is almost over. He’s in hospice care sleeping most of his remaining hours away. I myself don’t feel so well. I may have escaped Covid 19, at least for now, but I am still at risk for heart and brain trouble, possible heart attack or stroke. And the whole world may be ending in one of several ways.

The climatologists watching the release of methane gas from the Siberian permafrost are now reporting a massive release of gas over the summer, as much as 500% higher than predicted by climate change models. That cuts years off the time we have left to mitigate the disaster, if it is not already too late.

And the pumpkinhead dictator that refuses to admit he lost the election is continuing to make dealing with the environmental issues and the current pandemic harder and harder as he wastes more time on petulance and greed and treasonous actions.

I am not going to say I believe the world is ending. My world is ending, no matter what is probably going to happen to yours.

I am going to say I believe the only time that is relevant to me is right now. And I am ill. It only matters how I do what I can still do to live a good life and make the world a little better for having allowed me to live in it

I am not suicidal. I have two books I am working on at the moment, and two more books I hope to do after that. My family still needs me for as long as I can hang on. But I am not going out of my way to try to extend my own life. If I have the option, I’d rather die at home in bed than in an expensive hospital. And if my heart gives out before this day is over so be it. I’m satisfied with the life I have had.

There are those who believe I will suffer an eternity in Hell for what I believe… or don’t believe. Some of those are in my own family. But if Hell is real, well, the people there are all the really interesting ones. Heaven and harp-playing is boring unless God is more of a liberal than he seems in the Old Testament.

Anyway, I softly, slowly make this promise. I will not give up. I will continue to do and be precisely what I should be doing and being. And you can take that promise to the bank. Of course, they will laugh at you. I am bankrupt and literally have no money. But you have my word. And my word is more golden by far than the word of that Cheeto in the White House.

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Filed under Depression, illness, Paffooney

A Welcome Dawn

After the night I had, with Parkinson’s symptoms, chest pain, fainting, and loss of both perception and short-term-memory abilities I was happy to record this sunrise.

I thought around midnight that I was having a stroke. I lost about an hour’s worth of time, not with passing out or with sleep, but with unwanted time travel. I remember checking the clock and seeing 3:25 a.m. and then, after my next dizzy-stepping trip to the bathroom, my stupid, lying eyes saw 2:20 a.m. So, I doubled-checked, even resetting my phone to be sure, and all three time displays agreed that I had traveled back in time. Of course, maybe it was me misreading the earlier time. Yet, I am in the habit of double-checking every trip, once upstairs and once downstairs, and I distinctly remembered the 3:25 blinking on my phone. So, my mini-stroke may have been unwanted anomalous time-travel instead.

Never-the-less, I did not die in my sleep as per expectation. I was glad to see that Biden was ahead of Trump and only not the official winner because the Trumpalump and his terrible Trumpkins would act like trolls and break stuff if the victory in the election went to Biden only on the basis of… you know, more votes, both ballots and electoral college electors, and the math that proves it.

Anyway… I am still here. And with luck, tomorrow too.

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Filed under humor, illness, Liberal ideas, politics