Vital Statistics

Bike miles this year: 74

Aches & pains: right foot

Current reading: n/a

Recent listening: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Radiolab

Recent viewing: Workin’ Moms, Arrow (season 2), Space Force, Last Week Tonight, Amazing Stories

Recent playing: n/a

Recent events: COVID-19 test, colonoscopy, discovered poa trivialis in the back yard, workplace promotion

Recently accomplished: lawn care, filed insurance claim for kitchen

Imperative To Do: Clean roof and gutters, finish lingering projects, health insurance negotiations, trim arbor vita

You with your angel face

On this historical day our little family is going through a little bit of personal history. As I write this, Tina is in the operating room undergoing a hysterectomy. As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago Tina had what I described then as a “severe gynecological episode” which resulted in great loss of blood and a trip to the emergency room. After spending a night in the hospital and consulting with a new set of doctors, we concluded that her old doctor would no longer be treating her. For over a year she’s been having problems with irregular and lengthy menstrual cycles and her doctor insisted on treating her with hormones in the form of birth control pills. That treatment was ineffective and the ongoing condition resulted in frequent migraines, anemia, worsening a of her restless leg syndrome and a myriad of lesser symptoms. This all culminated in the middle of December when Tina’s period started and hasn’t stopped since. And so she is in the operating room now.

They are going to attempt to perform the procedure vaginally in order to reduce recovery time. However, if there are complications (details of which were explained to us but I cannot remember), they will make an incision for a laparotomy. They are equally prepared for either.

Tina’s mom arrived last night and will be helping out over the next week or so as Tina recovers. Since I’m working from home, I’ll also be able to help more than if I weren’t. We are lucky.

Update (13:00 PST): Tina is out of recovery and resting in her room. Pain medication is making her drowsy but she’ll probably be up for calls and visitors this evening. She’s in room 2406 at Adventist.

Update (14:00 PST):┬áThe doctor reported that the surgery went well. She called it an “assisted laparotomy”, I think. As I understand it, they made two small incisions to assist in the removal via vagina. Also, that last sentence is all kinds of wrong.

Getting Old Sucks

Yesterday morning I injured my right wrist in the shower. You might think that there was some sort of freak accident which involved slipping or falling or maybe both, but it was not nearly that dramatic. The sad truth is that I was simply washing my hair when it happened. The act of rubbing shampoo onto my scalp with my hand caused the injury to my wrist. I wasn’t rubbing particularly vigorously or pressing very hard. It just started hurting and has hurt since.

Since I turned 40 I have been noticing more and more that my body has become much more fragile. Injuries that used to take a day or two to heal now takes weeks or even months. Last year, on a trip to the coast, I made the mistake of hefting too many laptops in my shoulder bag. Result: a popping sensation in my left shoulder that has only recently gone away.

It wasn’t like this when I was 20 or even 30. When I was in college, I used to do crazy things so people would think I was crazy. One of the crazy things I did was to jump out of a second story window once when I was drunk. Because I came away from that experience completely uninjured, I concluded that I would never be injured jumping out that window and demonstrated my theory a few days later. Even though I “rolled” with the impact, I injured my right ankle enough that I rolled around on the ground in pain for several minutes before limping off for a beer.

It probably took only a week for that injury to heal, but it has come back numerous times to haunt me in recent years. In the last year especially, that ankle has gone from normal to painful in a matter of minutes. And the transition doesn’t even have to involve movement. I can be sitting with my feet off the ground for a long period of time but when I stand I’m suddenly in excruciating pain. The extreme pain fades but a dull pain lingers for days after. I plan to speak with my doctor about it next time I see him.

Sometime between jumping out that window and now my body decided it could no longer put up with my shit anymore. Or perhaps it was no longer able to put up with my shit. Whatever the correct shit-putting-up-with verb, my actions now have consequences on my fragile body. That fragility has not only created a greater awareness of physical consquences but has also led to increased caution and hesitancy. Straining to move that bookshelf a few inches further while the body is twisted awkwardly is no longer an option. Greater planning and frequent plan re-evaluations are the order of the decade now.

And when the body says, “Pain!” – it’s time to finally listen.

Nietzsche can’t poop

The other weekend it was so nice outside that we let our cats, Nietszche and Ming, outside to enjoy the outdoors. They enjoyed themselves, I presume, and dutifully returned to the indoors when we called.

A few days after we noticed that Nietzsche was favoring one of his sides and squawking when you touched him on that side. He’s a bit of a scrapper, so we thought he might have picked a fight when he was outside, but could find no sign of wounds. He’s also old so we thought it just might be his old arthritic hips. We left it at that until today, when he was sitting on my chest and I noticed that his hair by his butt was crusty. He was facing me, so I asked Tina to take a look. She refused to look at his little butthole, so I had to turn him while holding his tail up so I could get a look. He really started to squawk then and tried to get away. But not before I could spot the problem: a little turd was peeking out.

I’d seen the same thing once before with Nietszche – he’s constipated. That time we had to take him to the vet to get a cat enema. Hopefully, the vet will be open tomorrow and we won’t have to pay emergency weekend rates. I briefly considered performing the procedure myself, but this site recommends against it.

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have caved when he was begging for some of my string cheese.