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♫ Angie…Angie…♫

Will the blockage disappear ?

(with apologies to The Stones)

Probably before you read this blog post, my roommate J, good friend, landlord, and hairdresser extraordinare, will  be undergoing an angiogram.  That is exploration of the heart muscle via a tiny camera.

It seems doctors think she might have a blockage, making half of her heart not work as efficiently as the other half!

The good news is that, unlike in days of yore, the current procedure is mostly outpatient.  If a blockage is located, either medication will be prescribed to dissolve it, or a stent will be implanted during the angiogram.  This is all dependent on the size of said blockage.  If a stent is used, she will be required to stay overnight.

Once again, I get to play dog wrangler.  This is not a problem.

We (the critters and I) are all  anxious for her return – either later today or tomorrow.  Logistics involving our cars made it impossible for me to drive her.  A good friend is there for her during the procedure.

Please keep a good thought.  If you are a praying kind of person, doing so would be appreciated! 

This just in (0930 MST) – J. is awake and talking.  No blockages found and no stents placed.  The poorer part of the heart is functioning @ 55% instead of the previously thought 40%.  The next step is to find out why, and what to do about it – but NO blockage is GOOD!  

She can come home after three hours!

I Had No Idea…

such persons existed!

A friend of a friend recently contacted my friend regarding retail values of some of the firearms he owned.  It seems he was a little short and wanted to make some quick cash.

This friend was referred to ME, as I’ve been around firearms most of my life, have owned and shot them.  And even sold then retail, and privately.  It was thought I might have some idea.

(Now comes the weird part)

This gentleman is a professional, well-educated in his field.  Not some idiot.

But, not only did he have no idea how to search the Internet for possible values on many of the firearms he wanted to sell he had no idea what models he owned!

“Yeah, it’s a Smith & Wesson revolver, but as to caliber, model, finish, frame size, I’ve no idea!”

This made making an estimate difficult over the telephone.  It was the same way for the Colts, the AR-15, and a number of others.

I just thought most gun owners would be into their firearms enough to have some clue as to specifics(?)  Obviously not.

I guess it’s like car guys.  I know I have an Olds 6-cylinder.  But cubic inches, etc., I’ve no idea.  And some guys like Scotch – but don’t know single malt from chocolate malt!

I can look it up on the Internet, however!

(And, yes, he did sell them!  Don’t ask.  If only I’d had some money…)

Pain, Pain Go Away!

and don’t bother to come back another day!  :-(

To be honest, pain is only part of the equation.  Most of the problem is annoyance!

Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands.  Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so.  And arthritis.  I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.

If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!

This morning, I had pain upon awakening.  While still horizontal.  Before opening and closing my hands.

And my knees were throbbing.

My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!)  But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good!  I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.

Can’t have everything!

I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day.  This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks!  Along with my prescription pain meds.

And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat!  To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.

Or if any cancer is present.  (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)

And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.

Which, on my disability, I do not have.

The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.

Annoyances.

Sigh

I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations.  Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.

Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!

THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem!  :-)

Radical Religious Escalation

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

–Winston S. Churchill

There was a time when a President, the military and the population of The United States (by and large) stood tall and fought for the rights and lives of others.  World War Two would be a good example.  Japan had taken much of the Far East, and Germany much of Europe, and parts of Africa.

And was systematically exterminating Jews, gypsys, cripples, intellectuals and homosexuals.

Now I’m not all about being the World’s policeman.  I would much rather be isolationist and let the rest of the World solve her own problems.  The problem with that ideal currently is radical Islamic fundamentalists have brought the battle to us.  It’s not just about 9-11, it’s about England, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Spain, and anywhere persons are being religiously persecuted to the extent they are being raped, burned alive and beheaded.

The Nazis didn’t start with thousands of death camps, train schedules, IBM tabulating machines, and giant crematoria. They started small and worked up. It wasn’t until Kristallnacht in November of 1938 that they got organized enough to kill 91 Jews at one time.

ISIS has kidnapped 90 Assyrian Christians this week. They beheaded 21 Christians last week. They’re a new government, recently formed. They’re starting small and already talking about working up.

We can wait. Unless some miracle happens, we will wait. But we shouldn’t expect the outcome to be anything other than the obvious. It’s the same evil manifesting itself under a new name.

It will be the Jews, the Christians, the homosexuals, the intellectuals, Muslims from different sects and any one who doesn’t go along. They will die, deaths by every mutilating, degrading means, wiped out along with the ideas, thoughts and dreams they had. They will be erased. And when it gets rolling, we will not be able to say we didn’t see it coming because they are proud of it and they are posting for the world to see. (WARNING! Graphic images).  (Borepatch)

And our President claims it’s fundamentalist American Christians who are more dangerous than ISIS !

Now, I’m not a fan of those whack-jobs who protest at military funerals.  Or their fellow travelers.  And they claim to be fundamental Christians.  They even announced a protest at Leonard Nimoy’s funeral!

But, I’ve not seen any of then burn someone alive or behead them on International television.

It’ll only get worse before it gets better.

And offering them employment isn’t the answer, Mr. President!

Life Is Loss, Part Two – A Lesson Learned

I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.

Hardly an upbeat read.

However, Life is not just loss.  Life also gives us lessons!

Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him.  We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.

Nothing.

I feared the worst.

So, I took it upon myself to call him.  Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition.  And attitude.

And I ended up leaving messages.  And this concerned me.

Bob returned yesterday’s message last night.  I needn’t have been concerned.

Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits!  YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg.  And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.

But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!

Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy.  And not the most spiritual.  But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.

And not wallow in his losses.

He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters.  And his brother.  And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.

AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!

Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”

And his is and has.

And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons.  I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences.  And I have wallowed.  Or more specifically whined.

I might lose some benefits.  So what?  Big boy panties are available for the wearing.

Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.

Starting now.

Life Is Loss

From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things.  Food, warmth, love…stuff.  It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.

yin yangThe Yin to the Yang.

And, most of us don’t understand or like that.  In fact, most of us hate it!

And, it becomes a matter of degree.  That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book.  The dog that died.  The high school girlfriend who moved away.

And we choose to suffer for our loss.

But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.

If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.

My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated.  He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe.  Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him.  I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.

And grief over the loss of his foot.

Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty.  A blister, a bunion, a corn.  Calluses.  For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip.  And, I too, am diabetic.

I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though.  You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!

Molly 1986 2Today, is my daughter Molly’s 32nd birthday.  I spent most of her 12 years on this planet operating with the assumption that, as nature intends, she would outlive me, and would suffer with my passing.

I was wrong.  And I survive here to do the suffering.

I love you and miss you, Molly.  And sometimes grieve over you.

But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you.  I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths.  Because of the yin and yang.

And I’ve my memories to keep.

Forever.

Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them.  Because you never know.

And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.

Medical Procedure

Nope, not mine!  :-)

My roommate, J, is having a medical procedure done today.  Early.  While not life-threatening or surgery, she has need of someone to accompany her.  I am happy to do it, as she was there for me when I had my bouts with lymphoma and carcinoma, as well as many other times and ways.

I hope to blog something of a less personal nature later.  Or not.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Guffaw

THIS JUST IN – Subject is resting comfortably.  Procedure seems to have been successful! 

Ya Know – Things Could Be WORSE!

When I started this blog, it was more just an outlet – it was something to do.  Being on medical disability for lymphoma, compounded by arthritis, a fused hip, and diabetes, I told myself I would NOT use the blog as therapy.

Even though, on more than one occasion, I have!  :-)

But one advantage of this window on the world is it can be indeed a window.  And can be observed both directions.

Recently, I posted about Kilted To Kick Cancer.  Cancer charities are especially personal to me, being a lymphoma survivor, and all.  When I was diagnosed, and required chemotherapy, I was actively employed and had quality health insurance.

But, it wasn’t enough to cover the high cost of the chemo.

Enter a charity – who, upon my application, covered the bulk of the cost not absorbed by my insurance.

For this, and for many things, I should be grateful.

But, I get into myself, ongoing chronic pain issues, inability to work, low income, old bad car w/o A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta

Then I get a view into the window!

I’m privileged to have many people follow me on this blog.  I’ve no idea why they do.  And while some are fellow travelers of the libertarian/conservative/gun totin’ kind, there are others.

A recent follower is Caroline, who has a loving husband, and child.  And a horrific cancer, MEN2A.  And her blog!

Talk about an attitude adjustment!  To see what this beautiful woman and her family are going through…

And so many others.

Caroline

A Libertarian Conundrum

Or rather MY libertarian conundrum!

I’m generally a libertarian (small L), politically and philosophically.  Want to MAKE me do something as a function of government?  I don’t think so.  (conscript me, tax me w/o representation, ad infinitum).  Want to believe something different than me?  Sure – have at it!  Believe in Krishna or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or nothing.  I don’t care.

Just don’t knock on my door demanding I believe as you, with or without the force of government behind you! 

I respect your right to think and act and believe differently, as long as you leave me to do the same.  Period.

Now comes the conundrum –

I tend to be isolationist.  If one tribe or political party in far off Boogaboogastan wants to kill another tribe or political party, it’s no skin off my nose.  As long as it doesn’t affect me.  Or the National interest. (whatever THAT is!)

BUT, what if I had this opinion (and had been alive) during WWII?  What if The United States did?  Would we all be speaking German or Japanese now?  (Those of us who are alive?)

In short, what is in keeping with libertarian principles, but allows us to have our National Security and Sovereignty and be able to look ourselves in the mirror?

Do our National Principles apply only to us?  And if not, to whom, and when?

ProudHillbilly posted on 09/11 about the numerous folks killed and injured because of their religion World-wide.

A partial sampling:

2014.08.31 Iraq Ramadi 37 38 Thirty-seven Iraqis are reduced to pulp by a Shahid suicide bomber.
2014.08.31 Yemen Shabwa 6 2 Two Shahid suicide bombers take out a half-dozen human beings.
2014.08.30 Afghanistan Jalalabad 6 33 A Shahid suicide bomber disassembles six other people.
2014.08.30 Nigeria Borno 14 215 Boko Haram militants spray machine-gun fire into villages while yelling praises to Allah. At least fourteen are killed.
2014.08.28 Thailand Pattani 1 2 Muslim terrorists murder a teacher with a bomb.

Should we have gone into Iraq initially?  I won’t debate that, because the fact is we did.  And we then left.

And hundreds thousands are paying for our having done so.

A libertarian tenet is WE ARE NOT THE WORLD’S POLICEMAN.  We cannot afford to be, and we are not going to make everyone believe as we do.

It would be great if we could just leave others alone to their own Destiny.  Or Hell.  Pick one.

Then look in the mirror the next morning.

Voluntarism, Understanding & Acceptance

My good friend Crystal is participating in a public art tribute to those (like herself) who suffer from chronic health conditions, and those who are survivors of conditions such as cancer (like Guffaw).

Being a big believer in voluntarism, I support her in her efforts to get the message across that folks who suffer are not victims, but are simply trying to be understood and accepted.

She is 49% funded in her efforts, and supporters get original goodies when they contribute!  She has 10 more days left in this effort.

(at the link below – I HAD it embedded, then it went away!  DRAT!)

http://rkthb.co/42899

50% of Americans have a chronic illness that they don’t talk about. As a society, we’re uncomfortable with less-than-perfect health. When you fund this public art installation, you acknowledge the elephant in the room and celebrate the resilient people who surround you and their caretakers, mentors and sponsors. – Crystal Daigle

(I get nothing from her, save her friendship.  I much prefer this approach on a more personal level than large bureaucracies or government funding.  Please view her message even if you cannot participate.  Thank you.- Guffaw)

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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All original content on this web site is copyright (c) on date of publication by this author. All rights reserved, except that others may quote from the original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of U.S. copyright law.

Financial Disclosure

I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

In Loving Memory…

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