Friday, October 29, 2010

suicide by doctors

okay, so in the few hours since i published this scintillating example of self-pity, guilt at having bad-mouthed the good people who are trying hard to help me, and who are as talented as they come, has gnawed a hole in my inflated psyche.  and i thought the pain of rotting bones and insane nerve fibers was hard to deal with -- well, that pain is nothing compared with guilt.

so... i'm sorry, okay?  it's just that every now and then i decompensate.

[which would be a reason but not an excuse.  jeez, but you people are rough on a girl.]

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****

i'm taking another mini-break from blogging, although experience tells me that merely making that announcement is a surefire way to recapture my own flagging interest.

the visit to the surgeon yesterday was good, in that i like him and he tends to get the various balls rolling. the visit was bad, in that so much remains... hors la portée

we cannot rule out infection of the left prosthesis but we now have another very evident reason for some of the pain and dysfunction, at least.  there is supposed to be a subacromial space in the shoulder, a gap in the joint, that is generally of around 9 or 10 cm. 

below 6 cm of space, it's considered a problem.

i am in the negative -- i have no space.  i have negative space.  were the prosthesis not there -- and there with such élan! for it is there, and jauntily! -- were that hunk o'metal absent, it'd be just another one of my collapsed joints.  i am too familiar with the concept of collapsed joints and rotting bones -- with all their translations into krapola and ouch -- thanks to years of avascular necrosis.  there is also the odd klunk of bones trying to settle into some acceptable version of order and boniness (that'd be the weird audio component of AVN:  the sound of joints settling.  disconcerting, this sound.)

the quote i love so much is burrowing through my very depressed mind.  next, then, the traditional moment with spinoza:

each thing, in so far as it is in itself, endeavors to persist in its own being.

i would rather hear and know this than all the promises of heaven and salvation.  sometimes, don't you just want the truth?  unvarnished, prickly?  capable of collapse, were it bones?

oh, hell, the important distinctions, the big ass caveat:  the endeavor is NOT what has been called the [evolutionary] struggle for existence, no way, jose!  it is simpler -- and harder -- than that:
it is the result of a thing being what it is
[from translator r.h.m. elwes' 1883 "introduction," to the ethics].

a translator who likes to nail things down, elwes also adds:
When it is spoken of in reference to the human mind only, it is equivalent to the will; in reference to the whole man, it may be called appetite.
there.  now spinoza and his scrappy translator grace the page.  i can relax. 

or i can persevere and persist in my (own) being.  how about it? wanna join me?

okay, so we have the squirrelly case of the disappearing rotator cuff muscles, which, being trapped between pitiful bones were nonetheless dispatched, disappeared, and definitively poofed away, away!

he gave me a cortisone injection, which helped for about an hour, thanks not to the steroids but to the hefty dose of anesthetic involved.  knowing how i feel about such injections, he gave rapid lip service to the benefit/risk ratio.  bless the man.  he may be the only one on the ball... and since he's the one with all the scalpels, that's a good thing.

no word had been passed to him by either my go-to-guy or the new infectious disease dood.  the three of them all chatted today, however, and i have been sending emails back and forth to go-to-guy.  new ID dood opines, as did the consult we got last august, that if there is a bacterial bad boy, he votes for propionibacterium acnes, based on the deep reasoning that -- now, follow along: 

since nothing has grown,
the culprit must be
difficult to grow,
and the most difficult bacterium to hatch,
 in terms of joint contaminants,
is p. acnes,
so it must be p. acnes
that is not growing.


i feel like i am surrounded by idiots.

that is a dangerous thing to say, the kind of thing that can get a person condemned to hell, or that can at least give you a terrible reputation and keep you out of the country club.

so go-to-guy has come up with what feels novel to him [because he has completely forgotten about the lame ass consult of last summer, the one where fred and i traversed the wilds of tête de hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs) aboard a convivial ruby, the honda crv, only to spend a total of 7 minutes with the illustrious doctor man.  illustrious doctor man hemmed and hawed (but not much -- i mean, it took all of 7 minutes... that's including the disrobing, the exam, the review of records, the documentation -- in fact, he had it all written up already, he had already concluded, the book was déjà closed.  "i took the liberty of speaking with your surgeon, who is known to me...."  sigh. dickwad.  and that was the genesis of the propionibacterium acnes element of our folklore.] --

whoa, nellie!  if i were you, gentle reader?  i would bale out of that paragraph!  [whether you are to BAIL or BALE out is but another conundrum] what a mess! 

anyway, back to go-to-guy, who is doing an admirable job of ignoring every reference i make to impending suicide.  he wants to do a course of doxycycline.  a course, that is, of ORAL doxycycline.  i think the poor boy is confusing a bad case of zits (a shout out to my former friends at PTZ!) with the lingering, well-hid pestilence known as osteomyelitis.  but whatever floats his boat and more power to him for deigning to do anything!  something, anything!  i came * this close to quizzing him about the types of barriers that would have to be traversed, etcetera but, thankfully, i managed to be a teeny bit decorous.

my crp is so high no one will tell me what it is.  that bugs the good bejesus out of me.  i can pass along all the other lab values... but the crp is gonna... what?  make me faint?

i am being referred to one of shoulder man's colleagues, the hipster, because my right hip is refractured.

the easiest solution of all, in terms of diagnostic testing, would be one fucker of an mri.  and that won't happen because of the incredible number of implants, screws, and such that cause the images to torque to high heaven.

shoulder man introduced the idea of a reverse shoulder replacement, a funky little design that is exactly what it sounds like:

it would be a last resort, this slicing off of the humeral head!  but his little blue shoulder man eyes, they were
a-gleamin'!  with the disappearing rotator cuff, the collapse of the joint, this is what remains as a surgical option.

of course, we must be reasonable.   especially since the foremost contraindication is the same as the foremost complication.   

why, yes!  that would be infection.  {as god falls into the groaning maw of his own smart-assedness.}

so this all has me beyond blue.  they want me to renew my relationship with the medical school rheumatology department, try the antibiotic (orally, orally!), and open my mind to a reverse replacement.

maybe i won't take a hiatus from blogging. 

i fear the implosion of everything, and sometimes it is only the writing that successfully squares off with the sucking abyss...

and tames my natural tendency toward dramatic excess -- rare though it may be.

jeez, louise, but i am tired.

i sang a song for ireland

(Phil and June Colclough)

Walking all the day
Near tall towers where falcons build their nests
In silver wings they fly,
For they know the call for freedom in their breasts,
We saw Black Head against the sky
With twisted rocks that run down to the sea
Living on your Western shore,
Saw summer sunsets, I asked for more,
I stood by your Atlantic Sea,
And sang a song for Ireland

Drinking all the day,
In old pubs where fiddlers love to play,
Saw one take the bow,
To play a reel that was so grand and gay,
I stood on Dingle Beach and cast,
In the wild foam for the Atlantic bass,
When living on your Western shore,
Saw the summer sunset, I asked form more,
I stood by your Atlantic Sea,
And sang a song for Ireland

Laughing all the day,
With true friends who try to make you stay,
Telling jokes and news,
And singing songs to pass the night away,
We watched the Galway salmon run,
Like silver dancing, darting in the sun,
When living on your Western shore,
Saw the summer sunset, I asked for more,
I stood by your Atlantic Sea,
And sang a song for Ireland

Dreaming in the night,
I saw a land where no man had to fight,
And waking in your dawn,
I saw you crying in the morning light,
Lying where the falcons fly,
They twist and turn all in your air-blue sky,
Living on your western shore,
Saw the summer sunset, I asked no more,
I stood by your Atlantic sea,
And sang a song for Ireland

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jack Schitt

Hullo, you.

Yesterday was a study in stuffy, feverish suckiness, during which time I accomplished precisely nothing.  I spent a few hours crying, which is not necessarily a sign of unhappiness, but is always a sign of fever winning out over ibuprofen and Tylenol.

I finally crashed at 2 am.
Today began at 3:30 am and I've already achieved -- in comparison to yesterday -- a lot.

Three loads of laundry, pristine microwaves and shiny stove tops in all the remodeled medieval manor kitchens. 

Deep-cleaned coffee pots, groomed cats, black beans soaking in anticipation of a corn salsa and the bills are [mostly] paid.

It is 7:30 am now, and I am ready for bed.

I see the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow, Doctor ShoulderGuy.  In an effort to squeeze me in -- as he is booked solid through February at his practices' central location -- we are driving to PoDunk to see him.
Part of yesterday's crapola-ish-ness came from learning that the new Infectious Disease Dood responded to queries about a letter/report reflecting his findings by saying that his office is switching to electronic records and that they are, therefore, behind in their transcriptions of letters/reports/office notes, and so on.

ShoulderGuy made two requests of me, back in March -- that I somehow get the aspiration of the joints (under fluoroscope) so that we could try growing a few microbes and that I get a new ID consult.  As soon as my insurance kicked in at the beginning of September, I hit the ground running. Errr, rolling.  I met my annual deductible in under 30 days. 

So let's review, shall we?

They weren't able to aspirate jack *.

The Infectious Disease Dood gave me two hours of face time, expressed beaucoup interest in the weirdness of my case, stated that he felt I needed to see Ortho pronto, sooner rather than later (Seriously?  I think I am being punk'd.  "Sooner rather than later" is a phrase thrown my way by every health practitioner, along with a furrowed brow of folksy concern.).  I defended ShoulderGuy and his schedule, donated a few pints of blood to the testing cause, and went home with the assurance that New ID Dood was gonna be in touch with everyone by phone (he'd already rung up a few people while I was there) and by written letter/report.

Boy, oh boy, was ShoulderGuy gonna be pleased with my efforts at procuring a consultation to make our October decision-making summit an easier proposition!  With fresh ID guidance, we were gonna kick this osteomyelitis to the freaking curb!

Sigh.  Foiled again.

The ultimate weirdness is that New Infectious Disease Dood, despite investing a chunk o'time in me and my medical records, despite extremely expensive bloodwork, has submitted no bill.  Fred thinks that secures his status as a saint;  I think it is a sign of unprofessionalism that puts me in the awkward position of having no leverage over the quality of his treatment.  (If you get my drift, and you probably don't.)

* The schitt portion of jack schitt is commonly misunderstood. For helpful reference, Primitiva left the following explanation over at Urban Dictionary, back in May of 2004:

Jack is the only son of Awe Schitt and O. Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate, married O. Schitt, the owner of Knee-deep Schitt, Inc. Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt and they had 6 children: Holie Schitt, The twins; Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Giva Schitt and Bull Schitt. Jack and Noe divorced. Noe later married Mr. Sherlock and because her kids were living with them, she wanted to keep her previous name. She was known as Noe Schitt-Sherlock. Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt and they had Chicken Schitt. Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony. The Schitt-Happens children are Dawg, Byrd and Horse. Bull Schitt left home to tour the world. He recently returned with his new bride, Pisa Schitt. Now, when someone say's you don't know Jack Schitt, you can correct them.

- U don't know Jack Schitt
- Yes i do, he's Awe and O. Schitt's son

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Whatever the OPPOSITE might be of a Brock Lesnar fan, I'm it!

New UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez beat Lesnar in the first round.  I did not see it, of course, being poor as a churchmouse and therefore not partaking of that wonder known as pay-per-view, but every written account thus far has The Cartoon a whimpering, bloody mess in a matter of minutes.

In the first round.

Oh, I said "first round" already. 

More specifically, at 4 minutes, 12 seconds of the first round.

That rings some bell.  Ding!  Oh, I remember the allusion:  Shane Carwin.  The man who never reached a second round by virtue of murdering his opponents in the first one.  Except, of course, when he fought The Cartoon.

That bout brought contention to Marlinspike Hall, in the form of denial.  Fred could not accept the Carwin's loss and dedicated himself to the endless repetition of Excuses.  Namely, that Carwin lost because the ref said, early on in the ground-and-pound, when Lesnar had his head covered and was not intelligently defending himself, "I'm gonna stop this fight." Of course, this (according to Fred) made Carwin ignore the onset of adrenal fatigue, as he continued to rain down fierce blows onto the glass-jawed Lesnar.   

My darling will also explain to you, with furrowed-brow intensity, that Carwin "had something happen to his body." Fred will not allow anyone to mention fatigue or poor cardio, oh no!  What "happened" to Carwin was an incredibly complicated physiological phenomenon... that may bear a striking similarity to burning oneself out due to imperfect preparation in training, but is really Something Else, something that I, for example, could not be expected to understand.


Fred cannot help himself;  He worships at The Cartoon Altar.  Lesnar has mad skills, unbelievable speed, and superb wrestling.  I mean, he was NCAA champion in 2000, runner up the year before. 

He may not know what to do when he is on his back, but hopefully he will find himself there often enough in his new MMA career that he will pick up a better guard, and some more better submissions from below. 

As for The Caricature's stand up, well, he may want to work on his chin.

The hope I had in Velasquez was couched in my faith in Jiu-Jitsu and that fashionable purple belt of his, not in his striking.  He was also a National Wrestling Champion, but at the Junior College level (albeit in a difficult conference).

I've not really been a fan, sports-wise, of anyone since the long ago days of Bjorn Borg, and even then, it was more about Bjorn's legs than about those long back court rallies.  Hmmmmm.


Oh.  Right!  MMA.  Being a fan.

While I am no longer inclined to tape a poster to my bedroom walls -- though if I did, it would likely be one of Randy Couture -- I have a growing list of MMA fighters that I really admire.  A couple of these guys made the list against the ranting of my better judgment -- most notably Chris "The Crippler" Leben whose recent performances won me over.  How many guys take a fight on short notice, then step up again two weeks later?  I thought he and Akiyama might kill each other (there were shades of the great TUF Season 1 finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar; SHADES, I said!).  Somehow all the animus I had accumulated against Leben, also a graduate of TUF 1, where he spent most of his time drunk, troubled, and obnoxious -- all the ill-feelings about how he represented the sport... drained away.

He had one of the most active and devastating guards in that match up that I have ever seen.  I mean, he worked it, even doing this funky, syncopated, double-fisted hammerfist thingy.

It was a great showing, and I wish Leben, now a mature and dedicated fighter, the best.  The Manor Denizens will be watching.

While I admired Cain Velasquez, and backed him inasmuch as I will back anyone fighting The Cartoon, he wasn't even a remote member of the Fan List.  No particular reason, though I suspect his laid-back demeanor just kept him out of the spotlight that is apparently necessary to success in this arena. 

These guys need to be very careful when they open their mouths, especially when they address anything beyond the purview of the octagon.  You know, like when Brock "The Cartoon" Lesnar opines that the Canadian health care system, which saved his life, is the product of a third world, socialist regime.  (I won't touch the reference to that superior form of political and social interaction, not now.  Suffice it to say that I don't consider "socialist" an adjectival slur.)

I like Frank Mir -- that, too, is something difficult to do in these environs, as The Manor Men all consider him to be a SissyBoy, by virtue of the fact that "he talks too much."  I think it has more to do with that one persistent little curl that dips down onto the gorgeous plane of his forehead -- but I haven't given it much thought.

Anyway, when Mir fought Lesnar a second time, the first having ended in that glorious submission, Lesnar showed his true, ugly colors afterward:

Frank Mir had a horsehoe up his ass. I told him that a year ago. I pulled that son of a bitch out, and I beat him over the head with it. I’m gonna go home tonight and i’m gonna drink a Coors Light … that’s a Coors light because Bud Light won’t pay me nothing. I’m gonna sit down with my friends and family, and hell I might even get up on top of my wife tonight!

True, with Dana White's encouragement, he then issued a great little apology, complete with a Bud Light in his paw.  But I think what he uttered in excitement is probably a more accurate reflection of his character.

He was, by all accounts, humble in defeat last night.  But you know what? Being a good sport ought to be the assumptive behavior, instead of something to remark upon with visible nods of approbation -- and relief.

Welcome to the Fan List, Cain Velasquez!  Congratulations on your title and thanks for representing the sport so well.

**********     **********     **********     **********     **********     **********

*My favorite quote thus far comes from Court McGee, who fought (and won) in the prelims against Ryan Jensen, whom he certainly respected, saying: 

He kept hitting me and hitting me and I was able to get his timing.
As for the best headline? 
Tito Ortiz's UFC Career in Jeopardy Following UFC 121 Loss Against Matt Hamill