Thursday, February 3, 2011

What a mess...

It's a crazy time.  Given the extent of the wackiness around here, and the opportunity for more, I'll not be blogging for a few days.

Today I see the orthopedic surgeon, my old friend.  (I slept last night with my mp3 player set to repeat and repeat a Michelle Shocked album... "my old friend" is running around my brain to the tune of Anchorage... anchored down in Anchorage....

I took the time to write to my old friend
I walked across the burning bridge
I mailed my letter off to Dallas, but
Her reply came from Anchorage, Alaska

She said Hey girl it's about time you wrote
It's been over two years now my old friend
Take me back to the days of the foreign telegrams
And the all night rock 'n rollin' hey Chel
We was wild then

Yeah, well. So I'll be humming and buzzing along with the x-rays today.

Then we are rushing about Tête de Hergé like freaking maniacs, getting groceries (I am on a goodly dose of antibiotic and we are out of plain, lowfat yogurt.  Also vanilla extract, bread, and milk.  Not to mention caffeine-laced diet colas...) and a few other items of a more esoteric nature.

Then we are flying home to finish disassembling our wing of The Manor, Marlinspike Hall.

Why?  Are we being thrown out onto the streets?  If so, wouldn't The Brotherhood down the road take us in?  Yeah, couldn't we just crash at The Monastery?

No, we're not imminently homeless, we are just having some 16th century reclaimed beams and timbers -- heart of pine planks, specifically -- put in as "new" flooring here in our tiny section of the world. 

And don't knock The Cistercians, even in jest, because they're doing the installation...

What I really wanna know is:  Who bought all these damn books?

I have so much to do and such little space and time to do it in.  Also, I tend to injure myself.  Immediately.  Within five minutes of packing and piling and sorting and moving...  Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with tears rolling down my red, red face,  while putting my arcane collection of Objectivist Poetry into flimsy bags and boxes. 

When I was done, I heard this from My Darling Cohort:  Sweetie Pie?  Are you okay?  Do you need any help?

Wrong!  Well, only partially wrong.  Wrong in the sense that I implied that My Darling Cohort was not assisting.  Because he did.  A lot.  As in, a whole lot. 

Okay, I lied.  His offer to help preceded my headstrong and tearful attempts at packing up my tiny office. 

He's a good boy, is Fred!

The Felines are freaked and part of today's plan entails finding three carriers that we can safely stash them in, as the monks, who love them to pieces, tend to try and sneak them over the orchard wall, tucked in their voluminous robes.  When we retrieve them they reek of incense and garlic.

I have beaucoup medical stuff on tap for Monday and Wednesday of next week, too.  ["Too"?]  The thoughts and worries about the subanesthetic ketamine treatment never really leave my mind.  I am pinning a shitload of hope on this procedure.

So. Be good out there.  Stay warm, stay well, be happy.

The next time I talk at you, I will be able to zip around the place without the wheelchair meeting so much impedence in the form of medieval tapestries and persian rugs.  I'm gonna redefine the speed of light.

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

Okay, so... here I am blogging again, less than a day after swearing off the activity.  I've said it before, and look!  I am saying it again -- I need one of those pensieve thingies, like Albus Dumbledore had stashed in his office.  The basin with swirling, shimmering vapors.  Thoughts as strings to be pulled out of the head, twirled on the end of one's wand.  Though I suppose a chopstick will do, in a pinch.

The Pensieve has multiple functions.

At times, when one's head is so full of thoughts that one cannot hear oneself think, it is useful to be able to take some of those thoughts and literally set them aside. The practiced Wizard can extract a thought from his head and store it in a phial or in the Pensieve for another time. If it is in the Pensieve, it is possible to stir the thoughts stored there together and look for patterns. It appears that the wizard has the choice of extracting an entire memory, leaving no trace of it in his head, as Professor Snape does in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or extracting a copy of a memory, retaining the original, as Professor Slughorn does in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It is also apparently possible to edit these extracted memories, though it is a difficult task and one which is often not done well.

If one places one's head within the Pensieve, one becomes immersed in a memory that is stored in the Pensieve, and is able to relive it as if one was living that time over again. Harry experienced Professor Dumbledore's memories of the Wizengamot trials of several Death Eaters this way in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Professor Snape's memories of Harry's father in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

A thought or memory stored in the Pensieve can, with proper stimulus, appear to nearby viewers as if standing on the surface of the basin. Professor Dumbledore used this technique to show Harry the prophecy that had been made about him, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and it is used in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when full immersion in memory was not needed.

It is also possible to take another person's memories, place them in the Pensieve, and then enter them to relive them as if one were the person whose memories you have just added to the Pensieve. Harry and Professor Dumbledore do this a number of times in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in order to determine the salient points of the early history of Tom Riddle, or as he later styled himself, Lord Voldemort.

This blog is my pensieve.

So... although we spoke of it briefly the last time I saw him, it sort of blew my mind -- and all its twirling little vapors -- when the surgeon offered up an inverted total shoulder arthroplasty as my sole option for my left shoulder.  He is fabulously talented, so to hear him call something "difficult" was scary.  It looks like this... and this looks WEIRD!

I guess I sorta didn't believe him in October when he first pitched this.  Or I developed amnesia.  The Good Doc says I've not much left to work with -- remember (someone has to), I have rampant avascular necrosis going on as well as osteomyelitis.  Oh, and I am now missing one rotator cuff.

No problem!

He's been such a savior to me, this guy, that I simply don't believe there is a technique or an obstacle that he cannot conquer or overcome.  I mean, he's done... let's see... 8 of my 9 shoulder surgeries. 

We were doing a pre-exam chat -- I was bemoaning the mess at the manor, the monks and the flooring... then the ketamine infusion therapy popped in my head, and consequently, out of my mouth.  But instead of giving him some background, or even notifying him that we were leaving the discursive region of home improvement and religious adherents for the vague regions of dissociative drug therapy, I just blurted:

"Guess what!  I'm gonna do ketamine!"

And his eyes bugged out.
And he opened, then closed his mouth.  Several times.
I could see the confusion and what may have been a burgeoning certainty of my extreme moral turpitude spread across his usually composed visage...

So I explained.

Which made it worse.

He thinks I am nuts for doing this.  Well, ptooey on you, Fabulous Orthopedic Surgeon!  Ptooey, I say, on you!  Then he went on and on about this upside-down, spikey prosthesis -- only an option, of course, if the joint space and long bones are free of infection.

Why am I always so confused?  (No, I am serious.  Why?)  Is there a cumulative but late arriving deficit that hits a person after so many surgeries, after so many foreign bodies are implanted, after nine years of insufficient sleep?  After all the pain, fevers, sweats?  How is it that I can block out such important information?  Denial?  I don't think I am in denial about anything, but then who does?  Do you know that last week, I managed to forget entirely that I have an "aortic root dilation" of growing dimensions -- now sitting right at 5 cm..  I got there because of a run of something or other, that ended in about an hour of trigeminy, and this thought:  "It would be so nice to have a heart rate under 112..." We are so wrapped up in stopping this infection that we haven't even scheduled an echo.  The last one was in ICU back in... July 2009.  Whoa.

Just what I need to indulge in:  more catastrophic thinking!  (Thar she blows!)

See?  I DO need a pensieve -- just to get rid of boring, scary, fruitless thoughts about stuff I cannot do crap about. 

Okay... I feel better.  The reverse shoulder option will only come to be when/if we rid my body of sneaky pathogens and the pain reaches the I-CAN'T-STAND-IT-ANYMORE stage.  With careful coaxing, I can stand a whole hell of a lot!

The title of this post stands unchallenged:  What a mess...

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