Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not Normal

On Sunday morning after work I was drying off after my shower. I noticed a little soreness. I figured I'd give it a day or two to subside. If it didn't go away, I'd call the doctor.

On Tuesday I called for an appointment.

Instead of giving me an appointment, they connected me with a nurse. She asked me a bunch of questions. I described what was going on.

She recommended I go to the Emergency Room.

Uh oh.

I went to the ER expecting to be there a while. They did an ultrasound. It turns out the soreness is due to inflammation caused by an infection. The doctor prescribed Motrin for the pain and swelling and Cipro for the infection.

Cipro is some strong stuff. It's kicking my butt. I feel like s**t. It's the cost of killing all the bacteria in my body.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back in My Day...

When I was a little younger, I remember hearing musical groups perform cover versions of old songs. Many times I was unaware of the original so I could only judge the newer version.

I loved The Damned's version of "Alone Again Or" without ever having heard the original. I still haven't heard the original.

I like the Breeders version of "Happiness is a Warm Gun". The original was done by some group from Liverpool.

Now I'm old enough to hear bands performing covers of songs I listened to when I was younger. The group "The Killers" has a version of Joy Division's "Shadowplay" that is getting some rotation on the radio.

I'm distinctly underwhelmed.

The Killers might be pretty-boy post-MTV darlings but their version of one of the great songs of all time sucks.

There's no danger. No drama. No edge.

Okay, maybe sucks is too strong a word.

Here's a version of the original:

Friggin' awesome.

I Don't Feel Any Different

The title kind of gives it away. I've been taking my ADD medication for about a week. Not much change so far.

At least that I can tell.

I did notice last week that I was able to pay attention to a short instruction without fidgeting or drumming my fingers. I absorbed what the instructor said and was able to put it into immediate use.

That has to be good.

On the side-effect side, I took the medication a little late last night and stayed up past midnight. I did catch up on "The Office" though.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Abigail

Words Have No Meaning

Language changes. I know it's hard to believe. It's pointless to use old dictionaries to try to pin down the meaning of words because the meanings of words change with use and time.

The same goes for idioms.

When I was a kid and I kept asking for the same thing over and over again, my parents might say, "You sound like a broken record." I knew what they meant.

My Dad had a record collection consisting of old-time gospel acts, early sixties surf music, and folk. The covers of the gospel albums usually depicted white women with beehive hairdos standing primly in grassy fields. Sometimes there would be a dude wearing a suit and a crew cut sitting behind a piano (grassy fields can't be good for pianos). The surf albums (The Ventures, The Surfaris, Jan and Dean) usually had clean cut young men wearing short sleeve striped shirts, chinos and tennis shoes standing on a beach with surfboards and hot rods in the back ground. The folk albums (Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, and the New Christy Minstrels) depicted clean-cut young men and women clutching guitars and banjos. Most of the folk albums had a train somewhere on the cover (folkies love trains).

No matter how hard these artists boozed or smoked reefer, they were all clean-cut. It was quite a contrast with those bands that came just a few years later.

Anyway, we would play these mono records on our phonograph. Being kids we weren't too gentle with the vinyl discs either. Most of them ended up with at least one scratch.

And we all know what happens when the needle hit the scratch.

My kids have no idea what a record is. I doubt they've ever seen one. Even CDs are rare. As far as my kids know, music comes from the radio or Daddy's phone. "You sound like a broken record" is meaningless.

So what do I tell them when they say the same thing over and over.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

They Have a Pill for That

A while back I wrote a post about ADD and why I think I have a form of the disorder. About a month and a half ago I (finally) made an appointment to speak to a counselor about my suspicions. I made my case:

  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty finishing projects
  • Reluctance starting projects due to above
  • Social awkwardness
  • Difficulty sustaining focus for extended periods of time

I explained that I would like to maximize my potential. The counselor listened to my case, agreed that I have a degree of ADD, observed that I've done a pretty good job managing ADD (I have accomplished a few difficult things), and made an appointment for me to see a psychiatrist.

Today, I saw the doctor. After reviewing my case she prescribed a medication. I'll be taking a small dose of Concerta everyday. After two weeks I go back to evaluate the effects. So far, I don't feel very different. But then I've only taken it once.

I suspect that Concerta is a placebo "for patients who believe they are suffering from ADD."

I wonder how I will know if it's having an effect. Will everything become organized in my brain. Will I discover I can have a sustained conversation with another person and not bore them or myself to tears. Will I suddenly be able to have an appropriate amount of focus on a given task.

I don't know, but I'm curious to find out.

Is It Just Me...

... or does anyone else think it's a bad idea to force banks to lend money.

Spiritual Life Retreating

My church is doing a survey. The church has apparently contracted with an organization to give a computer survey to determine what the needs of the churchgoers are. The survey asks questions about one's spiritual life, how one feels about the church leadership, and then finishes up with a few demographic questions. I took the survey and learned a few things about myself.

I learned that I don't have much of a spiritual life. I rarely read my Bible, I don't attend a regular Bible study, I seldom pray, and I don't, in fact, even attend church very often. None of this was news to me.

My church is a mega-church. There are about 4000 people attending services every weekend. It's very difficult for the pastors of my church to know every person who attends the church. Thus the survey.

The questions fit into a nice Evangelical box - how often do you have an in-depth study of your bible? How often do you pray? Why do you pray? How often do you share your faith? How do you share your faith? No surprise since it is an Evangelical church.

But I'm not much of an Evangelical anymore. I'm not satisfied with the Evangelical answers anymore. But I still like my church.

Because of my schedule, I can attend church only about twice a month. My schedule also conflicts with the men's Bible study. We attend a little church twice a month. I love little church even though we're watching "The Truth Project." Unfortunately, little church doesn't meet over the summer so any continuity is lost. My pastor is great at many things. Preaching isn't one of them. He preaches far too many topical sermons for my taste. But I haven't seriously thought of leaving the church.

In spite of my wishy-washyness, every other Saturday night I look forward to going to church.

I like my church. Or more precisely - I like the people who I know at my church. After all, church isn't a place, it's the people.

So I did the survey. But the survey is not the real me. It doesn't really reflect the questions and concerns I have. It was just me checking some boxes so I could finish and do something else.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's the First Thing That Pops Into Your Head...

I'm taking a class this week for work. On Tuesday we had a section dealing with diabetes.

I'm something of an expert.

The instructor, a Medical Doctor, asked the class if anyone had a family member with diabetes. I raised my hand. He pointed to me and said, "What's the first thing that pops into your head about diabetes?"

I froze. My head was immediately flooded with thoughts.

Low blood sugar



Car accident

Aidan and Abigail



Doctor's appointments

Blood tests


Eye surgery





The instructor yelled, "Pick something."

"Insulin" I replied and he moved on to the next person.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow Trip

On Saturday afternoon, I woke up from my nap. Tab looked at me and said, "We should go to the mountains and spend the night so the kids can play in the snow." I agreed so we leaped into action.

Three hours later we were finally on the road (packed bags, got in the car, stopped at Starbucks, drove to the in-laws house to pick up porta-crib, got dinner from Carl's Jr., returned to our house to fix insulin pump, and finally started driving to Arrowhead).

Tab looked for a room in Big Bear but couldn't find anything. With about a foot of new snow I thought that might be a problem. She did find us a room at the Lakeview Lodge in Lake Arrowhead. It's a Victorian inn overlooking the lake just around the corner from the Village.

We woke Sunday morning to falling snow. We hurriedly checked out of the inn to avoid disturbing the other guests and had breakfast at Belgian Waffle Works. After breakfast we fed the ducks in the lake. As soon as we stepped outside with the paper bags of duck food, the ducks flocked in our direction.

I wanted to drive to Big Bear to go to one of the snow play areas but an accident stopped traffic on the highway. We turned around and stopped at Snow Valley. One hundred dollars later we had four lift tickets to use the sledding area.

It was snowing and the clouds rolled in while we were sledding.

After about an hour, Tabitha and Abigail gave up and went inside to warm up. Aidan and I took a few more rides. His cheeks were red and his nose was running but he loved it. It was a good time.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sixty-One is Not Very Old

I went to a house the other night because a sixty-one year old woman was in full arrest (no breathing, no pulse). When I arrived, she was lying in the entry-way of the home and the firefighters were doing chest compressions.

I knew she was dead when I walked in the door.

The firefighters worked on her for about twenty minutes before taking her to the hospital. The entire time, her husband watched the scene with concern and disbelief in his eyes.

This woman was the same age as my parents.

As they put her in the ambulance, the husband said he should call his kids.

Later, I thought about what it would be like for him to return to the empty house where hours before his wife was asleep in bed next to him.

Death is inevitable, but it doesn't make it any less sad.

25 Random Things About Me

1. I was a paperboy. I hated the job but I still love newspapers.

2. I'm more of a doubter than a believer.

3. I act like an ass when I play board games.

4. I always have three flashlights with me when I'm at work. Sometimes I grab a fourth.

5. I joined the Navy because I wasn't ready for college. After the first day of boot camp, I was ready for college.

6. I sat in the lobby of a massage parlor in Thailand.

7. I have a low tolerance of alcohol. My friends make fun of me because I get buzzed after one beer.

8. I'm mildly color-blind. So the tests say.

9. I used to be a Democrat who voted Republican. Now I'm a Republican who voted for Obama.

10. I've been inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. They were nice, compassionate people.

11. I wasn't smart enough to be a nerd and wasn't athletic enough to be a jock in high school.

12. I love soccer.

13. I didn't feel like an adult until Abigail was born.

14. My wife gets upset because she can't tell when I'm being serious.

15. Live your life so when the inevitable happens, you are surrounded by loved ones or they find you within minutes. Don't be the guy whose body is found two months later.

16. I used to be skinnier.

17. I enjoy running but I need to make it a habit.

18. I got straight "A"s my first semester in college. It was all downhill from there.

19. My wife was my first.

20. I like to see new places and revisit old places.

21. I wasn't allowed to listen to rock music until I was about 12 years old.

22. I'm fascinated by 20th century Russian history, World War 2, and sailing ships.

23. I don't like Topical sermons. They make me want to stop going to church.

24. I will buy my wife any pair of shoes she wants.

25. I've seen some pretty shitty stuff.