This is Scary

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/28/german-rail-service-to-roll-out-women-only-train-cars-amid-fears-over-migrant-assaults.html

It’s very sad to see that people who have found a safe haven from the violence of war in Syria, are biting the very hand that opened the doors of safety to let them in.

I have seen enough first-hand to know that men from religious communities where women are expected to cover themselves, consider any woman who does not cover to be a “whore,” fair game for sexual harassment and assault.

These “migrant” (in quotes because they are refugees, not true migrants) men are confused.  They think that German women should play by their rules.  They forget that they are actually guests in their host country, and should be on their best behavior.  Instead they have brought a new brand of terror into the home of their hosts.

But is Germany making noises about packing these criminals off, back to where they came from?  If so, please let me know, because I would like to wish them bon voyage.

No, instead, Germany’s response is to provide special segregated train cars for women and their young children.  Boys up to 10 years of age can ride with their moms.  Otherwise the boys must ride in the cars with “everybody else.”

Ohhhhh-kaaaay.

How many things can you find wrong with this picture?

First…uh, first….

There are just so many, I don’t even know where to start.

First, Germany needs a massive kick in the ass for tolerating what amounts to an epidemic of lawlessness, to which it responds not by deporting the perpetrators, but by punishing women for the crime of going on about their lives as German citizens and not putting on burkas so as not to get raped. 

The concession of designated rail cars for women who don’t want to get raped is outrageous.  How about designating male-only cars instead, for males traveling without a female escort?

And what about male children over the age of ten, who, in the female-only scheme, cannot travel with their mothers?  I would never, ever trust a young male to the same criminal element that is causing Germany to scramble for a solution to sexual assaults on its women.  Have they not heard of “bacha bazi”?  “Boy play/games,” that means.  Rape of boys, very common in the Arab world, culturally acceptable in many areas.  Not so much in Germany, though.

I am not interested in politics.  At.  All.  I am interested in the humane treatment of all creatures.  And I have a particular interest in protecting people who do good in the world.

German women and children should not have to pay the price for its misguided government having opened its doors indiscriminately to gangs of ruffians who repay kindness with raping and pillaging. 

I’m sure there are many good-heated and deserving refugees among the evil ones.  Let them police themselves!   Or are there really so many bad apples that the whole barrel is rotten?   So many, that women must take refuge in separate rail cars, in their own native land?

Those who bite the hand that opens the door to safety must go.  The good and kind people who opened their borders to those who appeared to be in distress must not live in fear for their safety.  They must not sacrifice their quality of life for a public relations campaign on the part of their government.

Or is Ms. Merkel in bed with Mr. Trump????

Alex Kipman: The dawn of the age of holograms

Alex Kipman: The dawn of the age of holograms
https://go.ted.com/Cyu2

This Ted Talk astonished me.  Watch for the mushrooms 🍄

And be sure to stick around to see how eloquently Alex, who is clearly very solidly “on the (Autistic) Spectrum,” answers the stuffy Ted host’s questions at the end of his show.

Unlike most Ted Talks, this is not merely an inspirational speech about triumph over an apparently insurmountable hardship, or even about saving humanity by means of understanding and innovation.

It’s about a way of life that is hurtling toward us at the speed of light.

Watch, enjoy, and let me know how you feel about this!

Miss Biggess Doggess Has A New Toy!

image

Flagstaff loves me.  The ball of yarn keeps getting bigger and bigger: that is to say, I am becoming more and more deeply involved with the workings of this tiny city that perches on the Coconino Plateau, at 7,000 feet above sea level, nestled among a flock of young volcanoes.

After my thirty-first medical provider visit this month, I was overcome by a sensation that something was lacking.

For one thing, I was drained to the tips of my finger and toenails from my appointment with the new Family Practice Nurse Practitioner.  I hate to think how drained she must have felt!

The purpose of this appointment was allegedly to seek a solution to my stubborn high blood pressure.  High blood pressure is bad.  It damages one’s kidneys, causes strokes and heart damage, eye damage, and basically messes you up, usually without any symptoms at all.

Having symptoms, like headaches and blurred vision, means the high blood pressure is getting to one’s brain.

God knows, I don’t need any more brain damage, so when I realized that my permanent headache and inability to read the Louis L’Amour paperback borrowed from the campground laundry room because my vision was blurry might just be high blood pressure symptoms, I went to the Walgreens and bought a fancy blood pressure machine.

The first time I tried it out, the damn thing read 165/106 (normal is about 120/75).  I ran it a couple more times and it said approximately the same thing.  I didn’t like that at all, so after a couple of hours on the phone I got the soonest primary care appointment available, which was two weeks away.  In between times I did all the things one is supposed to do to lower blood pressure, like exercise, breathing, meditation, cuddling with one’s Doggess, and fiddling with medication doses.  And hoping like hell that nothing bad would happen.

Last night my BP was dangerously high, so I took a rather large dose of my medication (don’t try this unless you’re medically qualified), and my usual dose this morning.  My BP in the office was perfectly normal, so of course I felt like a fool.

To make matters worse, I disclosed all of my psychiatric diagnoses and their respective meditations, and the NP completely unraveled.  Poor thing, who can blame her?

To her credit, she did a great job of picking out a team of specialists to help figure out what in the hell is wrong with my immune system and nervous system and skin, and whether all these are part of the same problem, or whether they are separate problems.  As for my blood pressure, she told me to keep doing whatever I did to bring it down, and gave me a script for more of that particular medicine.

Driving back from that exhausting appointment, I spied a grocery-store-cum-gas-station I’d seen before but never stopped at, because it looked down-at-heel and sad, like one of those discount groceries that appear and disappear in a matter of days like mushrooms after a good rain.  Today I needed gas, though, and the price was right, so I waited in line till a pump opened up.

After filling my gas tank, my mind returned to my own stomach.  The grocery had a Starbucks logo on the wall.  Hmmm, a green tea soy latte might perk me up!  I went in.

Have you ever had the experience of going into a drab, shabby building, and finding the inside bright, beautiful, and full of your favorite fresh fruits, veggies, and gluten free foods?  Heaven.  I got my green tea soy latte and headed for the aisles.

Half an hour into the orgy I came to the pet stuff aisle and was struck by a largish wave of guilt, since Atina had spent most of her day in the van, while I was enjoying my medical appointment and now shopping my heart out; therefore, I sprung for the $8 on sale “un-stuffed” furry critter with a squeaker at its head and tail.

I paid for my order (Jeezus Kreezus, $120 for those few things?  And this isn’t even Whole Foods!) and hauled my cart out to the van with my one good hand.  Atina glared at me from her spot on the bed.  She had good reason to be sick of being locked up!

The moment I cut the tag off the new Critter and threw it at her, all was forgotten.

She caught it.  It squeaked!  Just like the squirrels that taunt her all day around here would do if she could ever get her pearly whites on one!

Since then, the Critter has been relentlessly shaken, chewed, squeaked (my ears, my head!), and is sodden with Doggess spit.  Now she sleeps, worn out with worrying the new Critter to death.

The best $8 I’ve ever spent.

I Got Carded!

And the good news is, I got carded for the first time in 32 years.

The State of Arizona, otherwise notable for refusing Daylight Savings Time, and for the Grand Canyon, and Tombstone, and Prescott, all splendid ideas–has seen fit to award me my Medical Marijuana card even though I’m not **yet** an official resident.

I think they took pity upon my sorry ass.

And they knew I needed it, because I am in a world of hurt.

My appointment with the Hand Surgeon arrived today.  I got to wait two hours, then saw his PA, who had filthy fingernails.

I find that utterly repulsive.  A health care practitioner MUST have clean fingernails.  Hell, I’m sure Doc Holliday had clean fingernails, even though he was a drunk, a gambler, and a sometime outlaw.

I even clean my own fingernails before I go to a doctor appointment.  When I was in practice, I not only cleaned them every morning before heading to the office, but also used a white nail pencil (which I have not seen in stores for years) under the tips, to clean them further and make them shine.

The PA was not in my life for long, however, as she took immediate note of the way I flinched and yelled “Ouch!” when she pressed on the place where it hurts.  I made it easy for her by showing her the place.

She left the room and returned with the actual hand surgeon, a very nice young man.  He extended his hand, I rose from my chair and shook it, we introduced ourselves by our first names, and he complimented my last hand surgeon on his fine handiwork and inquired how it was done.

“Pins,” I told him.  “He pinned the hell out of those little bones and told me never to move my wrist again.”

He laughed.  But that is true. 

Of course the surgeon had to manipulate my wrist some, just to get his own idea of what is fucked up wrong, so hours later the bitch is still throbbing.

Predictably, he ordered an MRI.  As a bonus, we’re going to have an arthrogram with our MRI.  Half an hour prior to the scan, he will inject some contrast material into my wrist joint, and the MRI will show where the stuff goes.  This will clarify what is ruptured.  I think I know.  I’d make a bet with my doc, but I think we’re both on the same team.

So, after getting all the paperwork done I walked out to the parking lot, stuffing down a scream, and let the Biggess Doggess out to pee.

Aha, there is my phone!  I knew I left it somewhere.

Three messages from the spine institute in Denver (thank you, friend who suggested this!).  Two of their spine surgeons have reviewed the imaging studies I sent them, and both are of the opinion that I need “decompression and fusion at two levels (of my neck)”, just the same as the spine surgeon here in Flagstaff. 

I guess I will be having a busy spring.

It’s hard to do this kind of shit all by myself.  I wish I had the money for hotel rooms and private duty nurses.  I don’t, so there will be some sort of arrangement with hospital security so I can stay in my van in the hospital parking lot for the hand surgery.  The spine surgery recovery will have to be in some rehab facility, ick.  And poor Atina will have her first boarding experience.  Ever since I’ve had her, she’s been with me every single night, even after her own major surgeries.  It will seem really strange not to have her with me, but since I won’t be able to care for her, I guess that’s how it has to be.

It was getting late by this time, so I drove back to the campground, still suppressing screams.  It upsets Atina terribly when I scream.  So I rubbed her head and ears all the way back, driving with my solidly braced up bad hand.  One thing about having a lot of orthopedic injuries, you get pretty good at bracing and splinting, and at driving with one hand.

Back at the old campground, I rummaged in my stash bag and found a strain of legal (I have my card, remember) cannabis called Blueberry Trinity, which I imagine might be named for the “Trinity” nuclear fission experiments.  Whatever.  I inhaled its vapors, then set to work on a few shots of whiskey.  No, not the best coping mechanisms.  Fuck a bunch of coping mechanisms.  I needed oblivion.

The phone rang.

It was my old boyfriend and now for 18 years telephone friend Dick!  That’s not his actual name, but I know he won’t mind.  I spilled my guts to him, which was just what I needed.  He must have got “the vibe” that I needed help!  We talked all the way through his dinner.  His wife put up with it gracefully.  She is a graceful person, and I’m very glad they have each other.

Now the intoxicants have pretty much worn off.  It’s time for Atina and I to take our pills and go to sleep.  She’s lying up against me, upside down.  I’m intermittently rubbing her tummy.  Guess I’d better take her out for the last pee of the day, and call it a night.

Article: Faisal Mohammad, California College Stabber, May Have ‘Self-Radicalized’, FBI Says

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Faisal Mohammad, California College Stabber, May Have ‘Self-Radicalized’, FBI Says

http://flip.it/mzbq1

This is what my home country, Israel, faces every day….except the world headlines read differently.

If this had been one of the daily stabbing, car ramming, rock throwing, or other lethal attacks on Israeli citizens (or, recently, a Christian visiting student), the headlines would have read:

“Muslim student killed by white Christian police after alleged “stabbing attack.””

That’s the way Reuters, BBC, The New York Times, and others have reported the killing of terrorists who participate in the “knife intifada,” as they have named the ongoing wave of organized attacks.

It’s so easy to try to justify these attacks as “resistance to the Occupation.”

Really?

Western brokered peace deals have been repeatedly turned down by the Palestinian Authority (Mahmoud Abbas), largely because they did not include all of Jerusalem.  Is this a good reason to kill people’s families in front of their eyes?

Yes, but what about bombing Gaza?

That’s a whole different story, but nevertheless, retaliation does not equal resistance.

No doubt this one knife attack will prompt the adoption of metal detectors in schools or some such major reaction. 

And maybe next time an Arab (there are Israeli Arabs happily stabbing away this time) gets killed at the scene, Americans might think a bit differently.

Or maybe not.

Iran Launches Long-Range Missiles Emblazoned With Slogan: ‘Israel Should Be Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth’

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/9078.htm

Please click on the link, read, and watch the video.  You don’t need to read Farsi or Arabic or Hebrew, since it’s translated, but I’m a fan of original language since things do get left out in translation.

Many of the larger Grad (Russian) and other Iranian built missiles that have been launched out of Gaza since 2008 have had “love letters” from Iran stamped all over them.  Literally, stamped, so you can read them on the bodies of the exploded missiles.

In fact, more than one container ship has been stopped in the Suez Canal, full of Iranian “home missile kits” which, when fully assembled, make nice big missiles with warheads full of ball bearings, to do the most damage to whoever gets in the way.  Fortunately, there aren’t many habitable areas in Israel, so most of the missiles land in inhabited areas, or on the poor Bedouins who are really the ones who got screwed when they were forced out of their nomadic life in North Africa.  Like so many others, they took refuge in Israel, but since Israel is the size of Delaware, there’s not much space for them to wander.  So they get hit with missiles meant for Jews.

The concept of getting rid of Jews is not new to the world.  What is disturbing to the Jewish soul is that the Muslim world seems not to care that if they blow up Israel, millions of their Muslim brethren will also perish.  Is that the way to solve the bickering over who “owns” the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean?  Wipe it out?  Clean the slate?  Ridiculous, doesn’t it sound that way?  Could never happen?

Well, history shows otherwise.  Even modern history, going on right now.  The wars in the Middle East have been raging on for decades, and I am not talking about Israel/Palestine/Jordan/Lebanon/Egypt.  I am talking much, much bigger players and bigger numbers: Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria, of which Serbia/Kosovo is an extension.

The reality on the ground in terms of weapons supply chain is:

Russia>>Iran>>Syria>>Hezballah, Iran>>Hamas/Fatah.

Now there is the new factor of the “Islamic State,” which is turning the ideals of Shari’a law on its head by doing things that are theoretically permitted but never done, at least not since the 7th century, specifically, capturing, using, and selling sex slaves from “enemy/infidel tribes,” specifically the Yazidis.

I’ll explain the Yazidi situation in another post, since I don’t want to get too much farther off track here.

The point I want to make is that in getting rid of Israel, Iran will happily take out millions of Muslims, not only in the West Bank and Gaza, but also in Egypt, Lebanon, and, of course, whatever’s left of Syria.

We Hebrews have our own beliefs about this process of extermination of our own people, which has been going on for thousands of years.

But for the Jewish mind, there is no way to understand a people who are willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of their own brothers and sisters all over the world, just to get rid of everybody else. 

Realization

This sudden and alarming loss of strength and control of my limbs, and even unsteady gait, combined with extreme discomfort in my neck and sometimes lower back, has me wondering what the next step might truly be.

I devoted all of today in researching what I have, and to my great surprise I emerged from the rabbit hole with a rabbit.

The rabbit has a name: Ehlos-Danlos syndrome, or EDS.  I arrived at this by filling out some standard forms that rheumatologists utilize, and found myself right in there amongst ’em.

This explains the extreme paper thin skin that tears if you use any kind of tape, Tegaderm, anything.  It tears off in sheets, splitting just at the level where the pain nerves are, and the wounds take weeks to months to heal, leaving horrid scars.  I have several scars from blood draw needle sticks that make me look like an effin junkie.

Speaking of which, I would fail terribly at being a junkie, because my veins have become fragile, like my skin.  IVs last minutes, if the nurse can even find a likely looking vein.

“That one is blocked from a previous disaster,”  I remark, and move my arm so that she’s not tempted to, “Well, that doesn’t matter, what YOU say.  Just watch me!”  Uh, no.

“That one has a valve in it (which makes them either clot or blow up)….”  “Tsk!” She runs her finger along the vein, watching it collapse and fill again.  OK, score one for the annoying patient!

“That one rolls terribly,” I observe.  “It’s good to hold it in two places so it won’t try to get away from you:-D” humor is always good, yes?

She snorts, throws down her nitrile gloves, and stomps off muttering about sending someone else in, this is over her head.  Well done.

Then there are the veins themselves.  I do not know how, first of all, how vascular access could be accomplished, for purposes of surgery.  And I am not at all sure of the wisdom of pushing and pulling at structures like the arteries in my spinal column, or even my jugular vein and carotid artery.  I don’t want a stroke from a leaky artery or a blood clot from a stressed out vein. 

So that leaves the question: am I even a surgical candidate?  And if not, what can be done to keep me walking and talking and writing on this touchscreen with one finger?

As I was wrestling with my nightgown it occurred to me:

My goal is to learn my deepest essence.  I like who I have turned out to be, with some notable exceptions. 

And I’d like to devote time to really listening deeply, and having understanding of the spirit that was injected into this crumbling body.

If I can understand that, it will help me to manage the coming events, whatever they turn out to be.

Two is too many

It seems that I have been putting off writing this post until I can’t anymore.

The reason I have procrastinated so long is…well, there are two reasons: fear, and pain.

I came to Flagstaff several weeks ago in search of a hand surgeon.  I took a nasty fall over a log, as some of you might remember, and after waiting a suitable number of days to make sure it wasn’t just sprained, sought care at an orthopedic urgent care facility. 

There I met a young, arrogant, and completely disagreeable orthopedist, who humiliated me in numerous ways until his assistant hipped him to the fact that he and I share a first name, to wit: “Doctor.”  Then he became all cozy and collegial, remarking on the skill of the last hand surgeon’s handiwork, as we gazed at my Xray together.  I was musing how overexposed the film was.  He was burbling away.  I had dissociated long since and have no idea what he said after that.

But I picked up the hand surgeon’s card on my way out, and spied the spine surgeon’s as well.

The chirpy receptionist volunteered to make me some appointments if I needed them, right there on the spot, so I took her up on it.

Let’s see, hand surgeon, since that came first.  And my poor arthritic shoulders were killing me, especially after the recent acrobatic stunts.  I’d have an appointment with the non-interventionist arthritis doctor, please. 

And then there is my spine, bane of my existence since 1985.  A couple of lumbar discs ruptured back then.  In 1987, emergency surgery for a ruptured disc in my neck.  Oh, and that rupture occurred on the first night of my internship.  I drew call my first night, of course.  “Black Cloud.” 

Over the three years of my residency I would go on to rupture at least five discs.  The spine surgeons threatened me with putting metal rods on both sides of my spine.  I demurred, and opted for a custom molded hard plastic exoskeleton type of thing that extended from armpits to groin, to be worn 23 3/4 hours per day.  Fifteen minutes to shower, then back into the Plastic Maiden.

In the intervening 30 years, my spine has had its moments of freedom from having to drag me into its consciousness.  Curiously enough, my best years were when I had horses and rode daily.  The gentle rocking motion kept my spine well oiled, and the occasional eruption of a bucking episode provided any needed adjustments.

Then I got Rolfed by the former Captain of the Venezuelan Olympic Women’s Luge Team.  She was gigantic.  She was good.  It was excruciating.

My back didn’t dare go out if it meant going back to Alejandra.

After I returned from Israel to be with my father in his last years, my neck began to bother me enough so that I went to see a Physiatrist.

For those who are unfamiliar, a Physiatrist is an M.D. or D.O. who is trained in evaluating and treating musculoskeletal disorders non-surgically, with things like hydrotherapy and massage.  Sound good?

Actually, I did not choose this person specifically because she would be the most likely to send me to a Turkish Bath; it was simply a matter of Cut vs. Not-Cut.

Dr. Not-Cut did not send me to the Turkish Bath, nor even to Physical Therapy, but packed me off to her partner who does one thing exclusively: epidural injections.

Now, while I’ve had many a needle inserted into my spine at the lumbar region, I have never permitted such an intrusion into my neck, for the simple reason that it’s easy enough to prick a blood vessel by mistake, which can be problematic in the lumbar, but catastrophic in the cervical, because there is simply no room for anything like a blood clot in the spinal canal of the neck.

I went for it, purely because I couldn’t look down to tie my shoes for the pain.  My head felt like it was going to fall off at any moment, and at times I felt like beheading myself just to get it over with.

The procedure was terrifying.  It was painful.  It didn’t work.

Fast forward through several medication trials and much condescension on the part of Dr. Non, and at last I had an appointment with her Nurse Practitioner, who wisely prescribed a muscle relaxant, voila.  And a special hardshell collar to keep my head from falling off.  A wise and practical woman…And she even snuck me a small Rx for some tramadol, miracle!

And until the tumble over the log incident, that’s been keeping my neck pain down to a barely noticeable hum. 

Post-log-jam, things started kicking notches up the Pain Scale until I was hovering in the 8 range and started using my beastly hard surgical collar again.  This thing provides a tiny bit of traction, and it gets rid of the feeling that my head is falling off, but it digs cruelly into my flesh and is no fun.

I did not wear the collar to my appointment with the Instant Ortho Clinic. 

Two things you must never do, if you go to any kind of emergency services place:  do not wear a cervical collar, and never never never reveal that you have a mental illness; otherwise you will be instantaneously branded as a drug seeker, and no one will ever listen to you or even notice the bone sticking out of your leg at a crazy angle. 

And there is a third one, I have discovered, to my dismay:

Don’t be elderly.  You won’t count.

Time passes, and I get my turn with the Arizona Spine Specialist Dude, very highly Ivy League Specialty Boarded And Fellowshipped, all very nice to know.  Confidence.

He seemed like a nice chap for a surgeon.  Asked me why I was there, seemed to listen, actually examined me and discovered, dismal dismal discovery…I have lost virtually all muscle strength in my left arm.  I have no reflexes at all in my right arm, and abnormal ones in my left.  This must be why it takes me two hands to get my coffee cup up to my face.

It is no longer an issue of mere pain management.  It is an issue of preserving what function remains to me.

I need surgery.

The MRI could have looked worse.  It also could have looked better.  What is clear, is that the degenerative disease is crunching my spine like Pac Man.

I have had two appointments with the Spine Surgery People.  The first was with the actual surgeon, whom I liked, who treated me respectfully and did a good job of hitting the diagnostic nail on its head.

The second appointment was with the Physician’s Assistant.  I have no confidence in Physician’s Assistants, for the simple reason that in my opinion, there is some difference between the education of, for instance, my new Spine Surgeon, who had (after his Bachelor’s Degree) 4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency, 3 years of spine fellowship, and assorted certificates; whereas, a Physician’s Assistant has a grand total of 26 months of post-college training: the equivalent of a Master’s Degree, very nice, but not enough to develop much clinical experience.

So, with some trepidation, I met with the PA to go over my MRI results.  How could a person with so little training interpret advanced imaging and recommend treatment?

I was relieved to find out that she is, in fact, operating as the surgeon’s assistant and not as an independent entity, as so often happens today.

She had been thoroughly briefed by the surgeon on the MRI results, conveyed them to me, and explained the recommended treatment: spinal fusion at two levels.  She explained how this was done, and showed me an example of the titanium plate that would be installed, to stabilize things.

Any questions?

Uh, well, yes…what would happen if I opted to do nothing?

Well, of course, your disease would progress and those nerves would continue to lose function….

Oh.  Yes.  Definitely.  I see.

Any questions?  She gives me the crisp smile that is the equivalent of shooting one’s cuffs to glance at one’s watch.

Not at this moment, I tell her, but I’m sure I will have.

All right then, just call and let me know what you want to do.

We rise, shake collegial hands…

Several days later I realize I remember absolutely nothing about the visit.  Except the part about Surgery, and Fusing Vertebrae, and Possible Side Effects Including Quadriplegia…shit.

I called and left a message for the PA.  Two days later, she returned my call.

Yes, what was it?  Very snappish.  It’s five o’clock, poor thing must be hungry and tired…shit, there I go again making excuses for other people’s bad behavior. 

It’s that I have some questions about the surgery.

–I explained that in the office.  We place a tube down your windpipe, pull your windpipe and food tube to one side, and…(what is going on here?  She has my chart in front of her.  Why is she using the sixth grade description garbage?)

Yes, thank you, you did explain that part.  What I want to know is where, exactly, you place the titanium plate.

Exasperated sigh.  Again, with feeling:

–I told you, we move your windpipe and food tube…

Cheezes K. Reist, woman.  I want to know whether the plate is placed LATERALLY or IN THE MIDLINE???

–Midline.

Good.  How long will I be in the rehabilitation hospital postop?

–That depends on you.  She drops the phone.  Oh sorry.

How long until I am able to drive?

–That depends entirely on you.

What does that mean, exactly, please?

–That means however long you are on pain medication.  Could be two weeks, could be six weeks, depends on you.  Each patient is different.

Ah, now I have some useful information: they give you pain medicine postop!  What a good idea.

It really was like pulling teeth.  Look, if someone is going to do violent things to my neck bones, I want to know the details.  All of them.  Not the sixth grade version: for better or worse, I am a physician, and I need DETAILS.

So now I am spooked, very spooked, by the fact that the surgeon’s right hand woman is sidestepping badly.  It’s bad enough that I have to make a decision of this magnitude, without this person giving me the power trip.

I know I need the surgery.  I’ve investigated the surgeon and he comes up kosher. 

But what about this other person on his team, who seems to have enough power vested in her that she could cause me to suffer?

It happens that there is a branch of the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, several hours from here.  I think I’ll mosey over there and see what it’s like.  I don’t believe there will be huge changes in my condition in the near term…I hope.  Maybe they have some other, brighter ideas.

And then…there is the first appointment with the Hand Surgeon to look forward to, in a week or so.  Something is very wrong with my wrist, because of the fall.  Very wrong. 

I wish I could get someone to order the MRI of my wrist BEFORE I see the Hand Surgeon, to save time.  I think I’ll call his office tomorrow and ask.  Can’t hurt.

I have waves of feelings of futility.  What is all this for?  The wrist, yes, that’s an injury and must be repaired, if possible.  But what about the spine?  I watched my father’s spine degenerate until finally he was literally a helpless bag of bones.

I must ask this surgeon, whose opinion I respect: what am I looking forward to?  How long will it be until another unstable section of my spine needs to be fused, and another, and another?  How much of this can the body endure?  Am I really buying time with this?  What sort of quality time?  How long till the wheelchair and the nursing home?  I need to know.  I will make another appointment.

Monsanto is Taking Over the Government!

Can you believe it?!  There is actually a bill with Monsanto’s name on it, coming up for a vote in Congress, intended to suppress states’ rights to legislate labeling of GMO foods. 

WHAT!!!????

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/call/stop_the_Monsanto_Promotion_Act_now/?t=3&akid=1830.1151461.YDNBOR

“The Monsanto Promotion Act”????

Since when does “our government”  promote…PROMOTE!  Private business giant monopolies?  Isn’t that illegal?  And isn’t it illegal to hobble the constitutional rights of the people to use the legislative process and the protections it allegedly affords us?

Please read this website and make the call! 

I’m having a rough day today and if I can manage a post I will explain my recent silence.  But this came up and I had to put it out there.  I’m not sure I can make the call myself, as I can’t seem to talk today, but that means it’s all the more important that YOU do!!! 

Please share this far and wide on your blogs, social media of all kinds…FRANKENFOOD MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO BECOME PART OF OUR GOVERNMENT!!!!

Thank you.

Pain World

Ready yourselves, Sisters and Brothers and Others on the Gender Spectrum (or agender, I didn’t know where to put you 😅

People of the Pain

Yes, get yourselves ready for the upcoming first installment of….PAIN WORLD, a serial that chronicles a dystopian world, one in which a person’s value is measured by their number on the pain scale (0= none at all, 10= screaming on the floor).  The higher the Pain Scale number they can function at, the higher they are status-wise, across the board. This naturally gives rise to ten castes; but it is possible to move between castes, with proper documentation and proof, of course.  In this way people can be as upwardly mobile as they like, if they’re willing to face the pain, and face it down smiling.

On the other hand, some people would gladly give up fame and riches for a simpler, less stressful lifestyle. No problem there.  Just drop that business suit off at Wardrobing, will you, and tell Alicia to give you a farmer’s get-up.  And Alejandro will pick you up in the garage, level Z, and take you to your new assignment

And oh, please tell Greta, your wife, to gather up her jewelry and furs in a pile on the bed.  Josie will take care of them.  Greta  must see Alicia the Wardrobe Specialist. Then she will join you at the garage.

The Brougham is a magic carpet that will transport you from one dimension to another.  Any last questions?

Yes, you’ll find you know more about this job than you thought.

Well, ciao ciao, I must be getting back to the office.  I’ll be keeping an eye on your absorption process.

Now–er, what was your name again?  Macallester?  Splendid!  Farmer Macallester it is, then.

Now, sir, before we proceed with the voluntary Pain Level demotion, we must fulfill some obligatory formalities.

Do you, sir, fully understand that voluntary Demotion entails losing the rights, privileges, and benefits of the societal level you wish to leave; and that should you wish to elevate your status at a later time, assuming there were to be a vacancy, it would be necessary that you present yourself for Pain Tolerance PlacementTesting, just as you did before.  Is that understood?  Sign here. Date here.  Initial there, there, there, there, and there.

Very good.  Now, while Rosa prints you your copy, let me go over ground rules with you.

Your name is no longer ____  _____.  You are now Farmer Macallester, and your wife here–Missus, I commend you.  Not many wives would follow their husbands DOWN the totem pole.

–As I was saying, you will be Farmer and Missus Macallester.  NO one will call you by any other name.  The folks in Farmersdell will sure be glad to see you when they notice you’ve arrived.  Why dog my cats if there isn’t a barn dance tonight!  I’m sure everybody in Farmersdell will be enchanted to meet you there.

Victor, bring the Brougham round.  Earn your money by doing something besides looking expensive.

Victor turned away and smirked. By the time he reached the garages where the antique cars were garaged, spasms of suppressed laughter convulsed  his body and he was afraid he might pee himself.  He struggled for breath and for self mastery and attained one of those.

The Brougham shoveled its enormous face out of its garage, and stood in a hare’s blink at the kerb where Farmer and Missus Macallester waited to step in.  They had no luggage, because everything would be waiting for them at Macallester’s Farm.  THEIR farm!  They smiled at each other, put their arms around each other’s shoulders and sighed sighs of relief and anticipation.