Category Archives: medical issues

Triple Down Bummers Now Come in Grape Flavor

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You heard me right.  Grape flavor.  Specifically sour grape flavor.

I put my family on an airplane today to go be with my oldest son while he has surgery.

I get to stay home with the family dog because my back is hurting so fiercely from weather and arthritis that I can’t possibly spend hours on a plane.

So, sour grapes.

You know the Aesop’s Fable about the fox and the grapes?

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The fox, seeing the luscious grapes, tries to leap and get the grapes.  He is hungry for the grapes.  Ravenous for the grapes.  But no matter how hard he tries, he cannot reach the grapes with his snapping jaws.

He buys a trampoline from Acme.  But it sproings him over the tree and into the river on the other side… where there are alligators.  (Yeah, I exaggerate here… but in my life there always seem to be alligators.)  He still can’t get the grapes.

So then he goes to Home Depot and buys a chainsaw to cut down the tree.  But when he tries to rev up the chainsaw he realizes… he’s a fox.  He doesn’t have hands.  He has paws.  He can’t work the chainsaw.  And on top of that, his credit card is denied because he’s a fox and his job only pays in dead mice and rabbits, and chainsaws cost money, not mice.  So Home Depot sent a Sheriff’s Deputy to arrest him for stealing the chainsaw.  And it turns out that in spite of consumer complaints, Home Depot has signed a huge chainsaw deal with Acme, so the chainsaw explodes because he tried to start it with fox paws.  And as he is flying through the air from the explosion towards the river with alligators… he realizes… grapes don’t grow on trees.  There has to be something wrong with those grapes.  They must be sour.

Now, this is exactly the way Aesop told the story.  Believe me.  It really, really sucks to be a fox and not be able to get what you want in life.

This surgery is a big thing.  But it is not life threatening.  My son will be fine.  My family will be able to go places and do stuff while they visit and entertain him.  It is like an extra family vacation.  His grandmother (my mother) and his aunt (my sister) have both had the same surgery for the same reason.  They both came through it and came out cured.  But the problem is most likely genetic.  So, not only do I not get to go and be with my family on this trip, the bummer reason for the trip is genetically probably my fault.     Yep, there are alligators in that danged old river.

I get these benefits only from the sour grapes; I get a lonely week to recover from alligator bites for myself, and I definitely have something to write about for today.

 

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Filed under autobiography, family, feeling sorry for myself, humor, medical issues, metaphor, Paffooney, self pity, vacations

The Man is Mad

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Mad can mean angry.

It can also mean crazy.

It is also a magazine.  He should be happy.  He made the cover.

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Mickey made fun of me… sad!  A very sick man!

Do we really understand why the man is mad?

Could it be that too many steaks from Mar-a-Lago have given him permanent heartburn?

Something in his diet is making him have Sith eyes all the time.

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There has to be a reason he tells so many lies,

And breaks wind on Twitter to give us all the gas,

To fuel explosions…

The man really is an… Biblical word for donkey.

It must be sad to be him.

Anger… dyspepsia… battling bubbling bile…

He’s really never happy, not even when he smiles.

He made a thirteen year old girl cry recently, sitting in the back of the car,

Watching ICE cart her father away to detention and eventual deportation.

If that doesn’t make him happy, I really don’t know what will.

He is planning to issue a new travel ban.

It will make life miserable for many Muslims…

Including those coming to this country with visas to get life-saving surgery.

Surely allowing something like that, life-saving surgery,  is not worth making the man mad.

He deserves to have his fun.

After all, he won the most amazing election in history…

Without the help of Russian Putin, pudding, and pie…

On a platform of making sure that poor people don’t get affordable healthcare…

The issue the Republican non-silent majority care the most about in life…

Just ask Ted Cruz.

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Such a lovely man… to be mad all the time.  I only wish he knew that peace of mind and a quiet stomach come from doing good, eating right, and sleeping soundly at night…even during the Twitter hour.  My life is a physical mess because I don’t have affordable healthcare even with Obamacare… something that will only get worse when the mad man gets his way.  But I am not mad.  I have done good with my life.  I eat right.  And I don’t sleep very well, but that is not my conscience bothering me… especially now that I have given up on tweeting with the twit-wits on Twitter.

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Filed under angry rant, feeling sorry for myself, grumpiness, humor, medical issues, politics, strange and wonderful ideas about life

A Plethora of Bad Days

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I’m sure you probably are saying to yourself something like, “What the heck is Mickey saying?” or “Why is this gesticulating goombah complaining again?” or definitely, “What the heck does plethora mean?”

Well, the results of 2016 I truly did not love.

Saturday my football Cardinals got a measure of revenge.  They were leading the hated Seahawks by a score of 31 to 18 in the second half.  Then, like God was cheating in their favor or something, the doofy Seahawks made a couple of long scoring plays and should have been able to kick the winning point after touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game.  Miraculously, the kicker shanked it wide left.  Tie score, 31 to 31.  So then, karma finally kicked in and the Cardinals got down into fieldgoal range on a pass to David Johnson, the miracle running back who ran for over 100 yards in his 15th consecutive game.  The game ended with a successful Cardinals’ field goal that gave them the unlikely win.

So, why am I not happy with a win like that?  Because it was practically the only one.  The Cardinals had a talented team this year that was predicted to win the Superbowl at the beginning of the year.  But they kept losing games.  Eight of them, as a matter of fact.  They were out of the playoff picture before Saturday’s game.  And the last time they played these skanky wanky Seahawks, they scored first in overtime, but still only got a tie out of the game.  And these same Seahawks made it into the playoffs as the winner of the Cardinals’ division.  Football life is really unfair sometimes.

And besides that, the Cubs won the World Series.  Donald Trump is going to be President in 2017.  The world is ending (at least within 100 years).  I am dying (at least within ten years).  And I am no closer now to being a successful novelist than I was on the day I was born.  Oh, and I have a viral infection that makes me cough and may kill me.  Life is all dark brown and dumbly glum right now.

So “plethora” means a whole gol dang lot of something.  And somewhere, somehow, someone owes me a good day or two.

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Filed under angry rant, cardinals, feeling sorry for myself, football fan, humor, medical issues, pessimism, self pity

A Question of Gender

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As an almost sixty-year-old heterosexual man with a wife and three kids,  I am really not in a very good position to pontificate on the North Carolina transgender bathroom controversy.  I play with dolls and stuffed animals (though in my defense, it is more of a collector and wannabe toy-maker style of thing).  A couple of my children may actually decide to consider themselves bisexuals (though in their defense, almost all teenagers go through this sexual-identity angst and it is fluid, not carved in stone).  The religion I professed for most of last twenty years says that we should hate gender problems and treat them as a wicked lifestyle choice, not a genetically determined spot on the flexible continuum between male and female.

But I have known transgender people as a school teacher who was always approachable and who students often trusted with their deepest, darkest secrets.  And teachers, by the very definition of the profession, care about students.  The insensitivity of this stupid controversy breaks my old teacher-heart.

The truth is, transgender people in this country inhabit a bear pit full of angry bears that wish to rend them with claw-like condemnations and bullying treatment all because their preachers and opinion leaders tell them that they should be angry about this.  But whose business is it really?  And all the transgender people I have ever known, all two of them, were incredibly damaged people.  Suicide is the most likely result of the depression and self-loathing that most transgender teens experience.  I pray that such a thing doesn’t happen to children whom I have taught and tried to love for who they are.  But it happens.

(I need to warn you… the next part is not funny at all… nor is it intended to be.)

My example story does not have any names attached.  I will not tell you what happened in the end because transgender people are entitled to privacy.    But I am using a concrete example because I want to share with you things I know to be true.  The boy I am telling you about was really born a girl.  He was a boy on his birth certificate because an accident caused by hormonal imbalances during gestation gave him a penis on the outside even though he had internal girl parts, including ovaries.  He was not a hermaphrodite, though he was closer to being that than he was to being normal.  His culture forced him to be raised as a boy, even though his thoughts and actions revealed him to be a girl.  The people around him had decided he was gay by the time he was old enough to be in my classes.  He was bullied, insulted, and abused in very Catholic and homophobic community.  Things got even worse as he began to develop breasts.  It was no wonder he acted out in school.  The image burned into my memory was the day he threw a fit in the school hallway and had to be restrained so he would not continue to smash his forehead against the doorpost.  He was screaming and crying and ended up having to be hospitalized on a protracted suicide watch.  I never found out what set off the meltdown, but I can imagine based on the things I saw people do and say to him.  I believe he eventually had a sex-change operation in his twenties.  I pray that was a true rumor and not just wishful thinking on the part of some of his former friends.  That would’ve solved much of his problem, if only it had been an option before so much damage was done.  It might’ve been better if he had been allowed to dress and act like a girl from early childhood on… like the other one I know about but can’t say any more about.  They deserve to keep whatever dignity and respect they still have.  We don’t have the right to take it from them.

This has been a very difficult thing to write about.  I hope, if you read this far, that I haven’t made you cry as much I as I did myself.  But crying is good, because it means there is caring in a place where more caring and understanding are desperately needed.  There are places to gain more knowledge about this issue, and I hope that you can see that more knowledge is what is most critical to resolving it.  Let me offer a link from a right-hearted clergyman to help you know a little bit more.

A Baptist Pastor Tells You What He’s Learned About Transgender People.

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Filed under angry rant, compassion, Depression, education, empathy, insight, medical issues, mental health, politics, red States, teaching

Time Marches On

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The basketball weekend was wild and wicked and mostly unsatisfying.  ISU advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.  But Iowa was taken out easily by Villanova.  And the UNI Panthers fought the Texas A&M Aggies to a two-overtime loss.  It was a better showing than last year.  Better than Iowa has done in a long time.  Still, it would’ve been better if there had been even one more victory.  Sorry.  Success makes me greedy.  Maybe the Iowa State Cyclones can win again and make it better.

Over the weekend I discovered that giving up taking the blood pressure medicine I was on because of rising drug prices may have saved my life.  The drug they put me on reduces blood pressure by suppressing adrenaline.  It has side effects that robs the body of energy.  It has also been proven to elevate certain chemicals in the body that collect in the lungs and hamper lung functions.  This explains why I have COPD.  It also explains why I have been feeling better after I stopped taking the medication.  Maybe I have to start thanking my piratical health insurance company for refusing to pay for anything and forcing me to give up medication that may have been killing me.

I have been getting viewer traffic on this blog at higher rates than ever.  I just went through a period of ten straight days of 50-plus views per day.  I went as high as 150 on Sunday the 13th and hit over a hundred one other time as well.  I am looking at it as a good thing because I don’t actually believe the NSA takes my conspiracy theory posts seriously and isn’t closely monitoring me as a potential tinfoil-hat problem.  (You know the tinfoil hat is supposed to make it harder for the government to read your mind, right?)  So, there is some degree of confidence that I am getting away with stuff because I am hiding behind the mask of writing humor.

Anyway, today’s post is merely a time-waster meant to keep my string of every-day posting alive and keep me in practice writing down words and ideas.  There is never a guarantee that they will be funny ideas, or thoughtful ideas, or even coherent ideas.  That is the nature of writing.  You can’t always be Tolstoy.  Even Tolstoy wasn’t Tolstoy sometimes.  (Except that technically he was always Tolstoy.  You know what I mean.)  Now let’s see what the NSA makes of that.

 

 

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Filed under healing, humor, Iowa, medical issues, tinfoil hats, writing

Panic

Centaur1Sometimes the Greek god Pan attacks with darts of fear and suffering.  Sometimes what has happened in the past comes back to bite us in the rear for no other reason than the bulldog of horrible past experiences does not know how to let go once his jaw is clamped tight to the seat of your pants.

Mental illness is not taken seriously enough in American society.  We tend to think that every man, woman, and child ought to always be in control of themselves and never subject to bouts of craziness for which they can not be held responsible.  I joke a lot about being crazy.  I am not normal in any sense of the word.  But my own real mental challenges are no worse than depression caused by diabetes.  I get blue a lot.  But that is nothing compared to what blew up in my face today.  Have you ever seen somebody who is catatonic?  Curled up in a ball and unable sit up and stop shaking?  And what are you supposed to say to that poor sufferer?  What can you do to help?  Especially when they are no longer able to communicate with you, hear what you say, or even look at you.  It is frightening.

And I can’t even tell more than this.  The way we view this kind of problem in our society is a problem in itself.  Depression and irrational fear can destroy the entire day for everyone involved.  And the persons involved are shamed by what has happened.  The solutions to this kind of problem always involve talking about it and discussion.  But our society does not want to talk about these things.  We are all afraid of slipping into the horror of the Oregon shooter, even though that is not even remotely connected to the problem and the things that happened today.  The stigma is crippling.  People don’t tend to face this kind of problem until it happens to them or to somebody they love.

The word panic is derived from the Greek god Pan.  In mythology, Pan was a god of the forest and wild things, especially herd animals.  He was generally a jovial and fun-loving sort, but if you happened on him while he was sleeping, he would awake with a sudden shout, and that shout caused forest animals to stampede.  Thus the Greek word “panikon” meaning sudden fear became the word panic.  Apparently I stumbled on Pan today and suffered the consequences.  I am feeling trampled at present.  Don’t worry, though.  I have survived.  And things that don;t kill us make us stronger.  That is what convinced me that I am really Superman, and have only forgotten that fact because of some unfortunate kryptonite exposure.

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Filed under medical issues, mental health, Paffooney