Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Fairy Tails

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I woke up this morning ill at sorts with the world.  Frankly, gang, I was hurting.  It was not a splinter or ingrown hair discomfort – it was Red Sox pain.  I lay in bed (on my side) as miserable as I would be were I trapped in a malfunctioning elevator for hours with a life insurance salesman, a pentecostal preacher and any contestant ever in “Survivor” on TV.  Then I found that the coffee maker was broke.  Had Angelina Jolie stepped naked into the kitchen at that moment and offered me her body for a day, I would have stabbed her with carving knife.

I moaned and groaned and wobbled through the morning, gobbling down a few handfuls of pills, cussing the toilet bowl, kicking the shower curtain, and generally acting like someone no sentient human being would want to be around.  I spat at Al Roker on the “Today Show.”  It was all I could do to restrain myself from punching the TV screen in an effort to blacken Regis Philbin’s eye.  That’s when I noticed, at the corner of a table by the door into the big den, 5 little pills.  I set them there last night when I went into the kitchen to get a Coke to wash them down.  I drank the Coke, but I had not taken the pills. No wonder I was hurting!  Silly, foggy headed me –  I just love it when I get in my own way!

One offshoot of my general touchiness is that I have become hyper-sensitive to even the slightest wrinkles in fabrics against my back.  Things as microscopically tiny and then as a Republican wallet at Planned Parenthood convention drive me crazy.  I simply cannot tolerate them.  About the only comparison I can come up with resides in the old fairy tale about the princess and the pea.  You know the theme – that a true princess of proper breeding should be able to feel a single pea even through 10 mattresses.

I don’t mean to sound like I am singing my own requiem.  I feel in the hour-glass of life, I am resting with many other grains of sand above the middle where the glass pinches together.  Still, reflecting on my life, it seems to me altogether fitting and appropriate  that things should come down to this……that there is a pea…….that I have become a princess!

Boy howdy!



Patches, I’m Depending on Ya

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Since visiting the Pain Doctor, I have been ingesting an increasing number of daily capsules.  This morning, I counted a total of eleven.  Four are vitamins selected by my wife.  The others include a few old prescriptions, plus an increasing dosage of some additional pharmaceuticals intended to relieve, if not feel my pain. Also, I have pain patches.  These are sticky pads one applies to areas of discomfort that let the body absorb a steady ooze of narcotic during the day.  The medication has not provided any appreciable level of relief yet.  But, this morning, I did wake up with the vague, almost physical sensation that the worst had finally passed.

At least I feel confident enough about feeling good again (apologies to Robert Earl Keen) that I have cancelled some appointments made during earlier low moments of desperation.  For example, I do not have to visit Dr Thermal Kun, Accupuncturist and Tax Preparer.  Dr Kun provides pain relief by needling patients according to venerable Chinese practices of petit point and therapy.  But he also has a back-up plan if traditional accupuncture does not work.  He is a pioneer in the development of Vaudeville Injectoscopy.  The patient stands against the wall in front of a large cork board.  The doctor stands across the room.  Unlike knife-throwers of the stage, however, the cunning little yellow man actually tries to hit the target patient with huge, dart-like needles.  There is a chant which accompanies the procedure.  I think it translates, “Take that, you Yankee dog!”

Next Thursday, I was scheduled to have an initial consultation with Sister Redeema Van Biesecker, Faith Healer ,Palmist, Taro Reader and Tatooist.  Sister “R” as she likes to be called by friends, specializes in divining, confronting and casting out the  angry and unresting ghostly avatars of persons one has wronged in past lives.  She claims these avatars are responsible for all present day physical and spiritual agony.  On the basis of the phone call arranging the consult, Sister R said I might be haunted by the avatar of Queen Idyllia of the Etruscan empire. I could have scorned this babe long, long ago.  Maybe I should go through with this consult.  I would feel much better about my essential character to learn that, even in a past life, I had actually rejected the advances of a semi-seductive female.

Pongo Bob is an artist/practitioner of bongo therapy.  He literally slaps those skins.  Not mine!

I think I am happiest about being able to cancel my session with Amethyst Colon Cleansers.  Behind all the happy, meadow larking, New Age nonsense about contented intestines and a body electric free of toxins, a cleansing ain’t nothing but an enema by some other name:  call it what you will, it’s still an enema!  Then again, I might find my world view refreshed by some hours in the company of people who, pardon my French, find assholes fascinating.

Live long and prosper, dudes!

Manna from the Beno Brain

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I have found myself suddenly afflicted with the wisdom of the ages.  those ages happen to be the ages of seven and ninety-three,, but so be it.  As it would be a shame to keep my thoughts to myself and not share them with the world at large, I have decided to begin this posting, to which I will from time to time add whatever comes to mind.  If you find these tidbits of knowledge interesting and edifying, as I know you will, please check for periodic additions.


If it hurts to remove a pain patch, is the pain patch actually working?


Watching the current crop of Republican presidential hopefuls perform is rather like attending a show put on by the remedial class at Klown Kollege!


By and large, a person with impaired vision should avoid grocery stores.  I almost forked over huge bucks today on an amazing coffee special.  It turns out that the size of the cans have been cut in half.


“Life’s short enough and this isn’t dress rehearsal.”  – John Lescroart, The First Law

“I Just Want to Medicate”

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Two weeks have passed since I last blogged, and my dear readers are doubtlessly strung out awaiting word on how things are going.

the short answer is that things are going good. An x-ray the week after the ablation showed I was healing as expected.

A CT scan this past Wednesday revealed nothing of concern. My torso is as resilient as Alf Landon. No matter what happens, it keeps coming back.

There has been a slight glitch in my recovery, however. Without making a big deal out of it, I have had a bit of pain. It was occasionally evidenced by my crab-like appearance and demeanor. I was sleeping the sleep of sentries in Kabul. to be around me was like spending time with a rabid chihuahua. I was taking Vicodin as prescribed. For all its effectiveness, I might as well have been eating hominy.

The CT scan was performed in connection with a visit with the radiologist who performed the ablation. We were checking to see if there might be a reason for the pain other than as a natural side effect of the procedure. I really like this doctor. He is a Hampden-Sydney grad, so we have in common a background of having attended small, all-male schools in Virginia, though Washington & Lee began admitting women in the 80’s.

I got scanned shortly after getting checked into the unit. The technician was a very nice, attractive young woman who did not look old enough to qualify for a driver’s license. It turns out that she is the granddaughter of a neighbor across the street and the mom of two young kids herself. She claimed to be impressed by my abs, but I think she was being kindly to a geezer.

Deirds and I were soon guided up to the small clinical area occupied by my doc and others of his specialty, They are tucked in an odd corner of the hospital at the end of many twists and turns, hidden behind “construction.” Its like being led by Mr Toad on a tour of his chambers beneath the willow.

After a very tolerable wait, we greeted the good doc in the examining room. Let you remind you that I cannot see worth a hoot. I was also somewhat gargoyle-like with a slight touch of the ache. The good doc is intense and focused on the purely technical aspects of his specialty. Otherwise, he has a dishevelled and slightly distracted air about him. He checked me out. He said his first glance at the CT scan showed nothing particular that might be causing the pain. He invited Deirdre and I to watch as he examined the CT scan on the computer screen. We pulled up chairs.

I interrupt this narrative at this point to suggest that, under the circumstances, having me review the imagery generated by the CT scan was rather like forcing an octopus to watch “Muppets From Outer Space.” To the extent I was aware of what I was seeing, its significance was entirely lost. Meanwhile, the doc had slipped into something of a garrulous mode, as though Deirdre and I were long-time friends. Whatever other duties he might have had that afternoon, we had his full attention. And have I mentioned that I had a bit of pain?

We started talking about how deeply and thoroughly conservative Hampden-Sydney is. Did we know the Hamp had recently picked a new president? He is a black man, in his 40’s, with an incredible list of accomplishments only starting with a Rhodes Scholarship, an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate from Oxford. The doc was eager to see how things would work out with the new prez. On the computer screen appeared, I think, the Hamp’s web page, which displayed the new president’s resume.

While waiting for my CT scan to load, the doc mentioned that he lives across the street from Maya Angelou. He had met her briefly only recently. The gardens and grounds at Maya’s house are amazing. I suggested that maybe he could parlay the acquaintance into a TV show like Dr Oz, but my Hamp grad pooh-poohed the suggestion.

Nope, there was nothing in the scan as we looked over it to suggest any unusual cause for my lingering pain. He, of course, in the circumstances of the time in which we live, is not a specialist in the treatment of pain. The top dogs in the pain department at Baptist had recently left and formed a private practice. The doc wanted us to wait around while he faxed or emailed all my info to the pain people and maybe they could see me even Wednesday afternoon.

Guided out the back way, Deirdre and I took the elevator down a few floors to the coffee shop and a Subway. I got coffee. Deirdre opted for a Subway tuna. I was a bit prickly, not very happy to be alive. I elected to try to return to the doctor’s offices to see what arrangements he had been able to make. I found the right floor. I found the right hall and general area of the offices. I lurked suspiciously in the hall, scaring passersby, until Deirdre found me, and we were soon rescued from the chilly corridors by a kindly nurse, who quickly put us in another examining room and draped our shivering shoulders with warm blankets. I think we were visited by an angel.

A moment of grace had arrived in the midst of anxiety and irritability, and Deirdre and I were immediately struck by a bad case of the giggles. The sheer craziness of being marooned yet again in a hospital, me hurting, looking over a doctor’s shoulder at a Hampden-Sydney web page while talking about Maya Angelou – well, sometimes in life, one’s only recourse is to laugh, and Deirdre and I shared a good one. I observe that it is never a bad thing to be reminded of why and how much someone loves another person.

The good doc soon arrived to say he had arranged a visit to the pain clinic on Thursday morning. We kept the appointment. Paperwork was light. The examining room door was opened by a young woman, an intern from Texas, who introduced herself as a “pain fellow.” I hope I managed to keep a plain face. The pain doctor visited soon afterwards. In appearance, he combines the best of George Stephanopoulos and Fabio, and in age looks like he ought to be hanging out in a frat house rather than playing doctor. It could be just my imagination, running away with me, but I swear that when the doc come into the room, he was humming, “I Just Want to Medicate.” 

I am back home now, fortified with a troop of additional prescriptions. So far, there are tremblings they might help.

Well, gang, that’s the news from Lakewood Hills, where the women are strong, the children good-looking, and the wives the chocolate in chocolate cake. So what is happening with y’all these days? Be healthy, live happy and love!


Gimme an A

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Okay, let’s see….the radius is connected to the elbow bone and the armpit is connected to the sternum which is some how the gateway to Thoracic Park……

No, instead try:  Double bubble, toil and trouble, homily, o’bamaly, piglets like hominy…

How about:  I awoke and the bedroom was filled with a radiant presence which was revealed as the angel of St Dismas and it said unto me, “Lo, thou shalt be delivered unto a sterile room with gadgets and doo-hickeys…,” at which point Deirdre asked, “Who’s that man in our bedroom?”

Since anatomy, magic and dreams all fail me, I am not even going to try to explain how I got from my last blog entry to waking up yesterday morning to find that the days had been accomplished to deliver me unto Baptist Hospital to receive my long awaited and debated ablation. 

I checked in at the big desk a little before 10:00, and within 15 minutes we were walked back to ground zero by a she-doctor radiologist who doesn’t like to wait around and tries to get things done.  I changed into an operating gown in a bathroom off to the side.  She inserted the IV needle with me stretched out on the operating table.  I sailed away to la-la land before any of the other medical staff had come through the door. 

Around 7:00 or so I breached consciousness while being installed in a room  for an overnight.  Shot full of I don’t know what-all, from that point on I enjoyed roughly twelve straight hours of spells where I was awake a minute or two, actually alert for 27 seconds of that time, then back to la-la land.  Along the way, I sipped water and coffee and coke and nibbled a cheese sandwich and some jello (and it is possible to  nibble hospital jello) and received a whole lotta’ love and care from Deirdre and somehow found out that Wake lost a football game to Syracuse, that Boston lost a baseball game to New York, and that QVC was offering a really good deal on some linens…..

As it turns out, the Doc fried instead of froze, and after scrambling up a passel of bad cells, decided that I was so good a patient and he was having such a good time with the radiological needle that he would go on and finish the job and not make me come back for a chaser.  The bad cells have been consigned to Hades.  I have a follow-up x-ray and visit next week and then…well, live large for awhile without anything hanging over  my head.  I can do anything. Maybe even golf lessons!