Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Gospel According to Wog...and a recipe for NA Shandy

Hi All!

Perhaps I have been proselytizing too much on my new Life Philosophy, "Health Realization."

Now that the Anno Horribilis that began last May is winding down and loose ends are starting to become tied up, I have rediscovered a missing verse from The Gospel According to Wog. It embodies H.R. with a slight twist which part of me still feels as I reflect on all the unpleasant authority figures I have dealt with... and that guy who wouldn't let me buy my car back. Goes like this:

We cannot see the future.
We cannot change the past.
We can only live in the now,
with an eye towards gaining enough power,
to wreak revenge on the sons of bitches
who screwed us in the past.

I think I'll tape that one on my mirror, right next to the Serenity Prayer.

Non-Alcoholic Shandy - a new take on an old British favorite.

Pour a bottle or can of decent ice-cold NA beer, such as O'Doul's Amber or any of the German or Dutch varieties in a 20 oz. beer glass. Add a 6 oz. of cold lemonade.

Enjoy this refreshing and healthful beverage. Ice can be added if desired.

Did you know? Orange juice has the same amount of alcohol by volume than NA Beer.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Terry Schiavo

Hi All,

I have mixed philosophical feelings about what Congress is doing today.

But a week ago today, I was dehydrated and until the ER docs could figure out what to do, I was limited to Laura giving me spoonfuls of ice chips.

I was crazy thirsty and that ice tasted better than anything I have ever put in my mouth. After 4 hours, I was allowed to have water and I spilled half of it on myself in my greedy gulping.

A couple of weeks ago the TV show ER had an episode about a 30-ish wife and mother who suffered a sudden and complete stroke. She was 100% cognizant but had no way of communicating to the outside world. She had to agonize listening to the doctors give her husband the options -- long-term life support or a risky new procedure to "grab" the clot out of the brain.

The husband hesitated while the wife was screaming at him to let her have the procedure. Well, he finally seemed to see something deep in her vacant eyes and approved of the procedure which worked perfectly and got her back to normal in time for the KARE 11 News at 10.

Incidentally, the machine that grabs these clots is a very new technology which my hospital, St. Joe's is one of very few hospitals -- probably the only one in the Midwest -- is now using.

Terry Schiavo's case is hardly the same -- or might it be?

Please read this story and no matter where you stand on this, it will give you pause.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Past is Just a Thought

Hi All,

I promised to write about my big day. I need to collect my thoughts and produce a rip-snorter of a story, but I'm not ready.

Suffice it this early report for now. More to come.

I thought that my recover from the latest medical scare was a good omen. I made it to the auction at which my beloved collector car was offered. With 500 bidders in attendance, there was just me and a scraggly homeless-looking person going nose to nose right on thru my self-promised price barrier.

Reason prevailed. The car is gone -- for now. Some day it may become "reality" again. Now it is simply a thought, and it doesn't exist anymore.

Got home and found that my IV plumbing sprung a nasty blood leak, so I have dashed this off while waiting for the nurse to come over and fix me up.


Friday, March 18, 2005

He Kicked the Bottle but a Root Canal Nearly Made Him Kick the Bucket

Hi All!

Well, your old pal the Wog spent this week at Saint Joe's as a team of specialists tried to figure out the cause of my latest near-fatal blood infection.

They determined the type, Alpha Beta Strep, but had trouble pinpointing the source. After a couple of days I thought to mention that my recent root canal tooth was bothering me. Aha! A C.T. scan revealed a small wire left in the tooth and going thru the root into the gum. Supposedly the dentist was supposed to give me an antibiotic after the procedure, but she said that the soreness would go away in a week.

Blue Cross might be interested in talking to her after they shell out, I'm guessing, about $50K for 5 days in a very nice private room and a battery of expensive tests.

Yesterday a nice fellow threaded a skinny hose through my arm, across my chest in down near my heart in the Superior Vena Cave vein. Now I get to hook myself up every day and give myself a dose of antibiotic. Wonder what else I could shoot in there. Talk about mainlining...

Feeling pretty good now.

Tomorrow is a HUGE day for me. Be sure to check back to see how things come out. Thankfully, it is not a health-related event. Hint: I have been facing this event with a mixture of excitement and dread since last May (archive might help). I am going to be very happy or completely shattered. Even odds.



Thursday, March 10, 2005

99% Dan Rather-Free

Hi All!

Call me a sap, but I'll miss having old Dan to kick around anymore. Said and done.

Thursday already, my eagerly anticipated bus ride to Avalon Treatment Center for my MICD therapy group.

MICD is what I have been labeled -- Mentally Ill Chemically Dependent. Add the liver disease and I am a living, breathing trifecta.

Still cleaning like a madman. I have excavated long-believed- lost real estate. Gathered together a couple of dozen books on the Demon Alcohol and reminded myself how hard I tried to "cure" myself with various alternative methods such as Rational Recover, Moderation Management, Health Recovery and others.

All are good treatment if followed. I didn't. In the end, it wasn't any particular method or fear of the health was pure time. I am forever greatful for my wife, doctor and brother for tying me up for 6 months.

I have settled on a "simple program" called Health Realization. I've written of it before, but is the first thing that I have stuck with for any significant period of time.

Which brings me to the tip of an iceberg that I will be exploring in depth in the future. Friends of Bill W. stop reading right now.

I have tried it, but so far I am not "faking it until I make it" -- I have earnestly tried to glean what I can an I will still attend meetings for now. Perhaps I could say that I'm "faking it" AND making it!

One of the books I dug up and have started to reread is a blue book that I will not take to an AA meeting. I do not yell "fire" in a crowded room.

It's titled "Heavy Drinking. The Myth of Alcoholism as a Disease." by Fingarette. If that isn't enough to get the bleading deacons thumping "THE" Blue Book, I guess I was too subtle.

The point of the book, that is very thoroughly researched and annnotated, is that "One size doesn't fit all."

AA is surely a godsend for millions. But it isn't such a "simple program" when one scratches beneath the surface.

Enough heresy for today.

For some irreverent AA humor, enjoy this:

Health has been wavery this week, but today I feel like a world beater. Oh yeah, it's Thursday and I can leave House Arrest!



Friday, March 04, 2005

Educashun on the Buss

Hi All!

Thursdays and Sundays are my favorite days these days on account of those are the days I can wander away from home for treatment and religious worship and AA. Oops that was redundant :-)

Best part of going free is indulging in my newfound joy in public transportation. Cheap to get around and plenty of free entertainment.

I like to sit in the back of the bus just to irk the brothers who are pretty possesive about that area. Ironic that after the long struggle for Civil Rights, blacks still sit in the back of the bus.

Yesterday on the 50 (University Avenue Limited Stop) there was a middle-aged American Indian sitting next to a young black women who looked to be a UofM student with a backpack filled with books. The morning runs of the 50 are popular with UofM students so I feel pretty confident that I am making the right assumption.

The older guy is filling out some sort of application and asks the young lady how to spell "partial." She generously offered "P-A-R-S-H-A-L." I usually keep to myself, but I couldn't let that stand.

"Excuse me, but I believe it is spelled "P-A-R-T-I-A-L" The gentleman thanked me, noting that it had been a long time since he went to school, but that sounded about right.

The reaction of the young lady to my correction was an incredulous look and "Where'd you get THAT?!" I think I mumbled something about seeing it in a dictionary once. Guess she must be in the General College.

As humorous as it was, the sad part is that we are becoming a semi-literate nation. When I related the story to my counselor, she said that I would be depressed with the stuff people write down on their intake forms.

I guess it must be right that we aren't throwing enough money at our fine Education Establishment.

I've always had a desire to teach, but I don't want to go back to school. Wouldn't it be great if a person could qualify for a public teaching position based on life experience and aceing a test? Alas, even the private schools require degrees. Think of all the bored, intelligent retirees or people like me who could offer so much yet are not welcome to The System.

I could have explained how to remember the spelling of "partial" by understanding what it means. I actually believe that the young woman had no clue. I should have told her.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Slicker 'n Snot

Hi All!

Thought I'd celebrate one of life's little triumphs.

Took advantage of a good deal on wireless networking at Best Buy.

You will recall that I did my Turbo Taxes in 5 minutes then spent 3 days trying to update a required form. When I finally submitted State and Fed, my bank account got a nice boost in 2-days and 2-weeks, respectively.

Started going down the same route with my new router. 5-clicks to install my fat rump! Day one was doing all the troubleshooting possible, to no effect. Then endured the phone wait for Prakash and Mahboob who talked me thru all the same steps I had done.

As a last resort I tried a different computer that I had bought for $19.99 at Disabled American Vets (best thrift store there is). Turned out to be a decent pentium with Win2000 beta installed (as well as a complete copy of Office!)

5-clicks and all went as supposed to. Now I've got 4 PCs running all over the house and everybody's happy to not have to fight over the one.

Turns out the "one" is so totally futzed up with firewalls, spyware, anti-virus and all the viruses and spyware that got thru anyway, that the poor thing couldn't recognize the router.

As much as I hate House Arrest, I must say it is nice to have some time on ones hands to work on life's everyday problems.