Well, I made it through the ‘procedure’ okay.
Thanks for all your emails and support! (Especially J. who stayed with me and drove me to-and-fro!)
The good news is I survived, and live to fight on another day. The bad news is I have Barrett’s esophagus. (I’m betting Barrett didn’t even know it was missing!) *rimshot*
This means chronic acid reflux has eaten away at the lower third of my esophagus. I was largely unaware this was occurring as I’ve been taking medication for it for many years. I guess it would be much worse had I not.
There is a chance of the presence of pre-cancerous cells. Biopsies were performed – we are awaiting the results.
I am to continue taking my prescribed medication. And take some other measures to lessen further damage. And, barring any complications, return in a year to do it again!
I’ve a series of lovely parting-gift photos. Below is one of them.
Sadly, probably not…
(I’m hardly Henry the Fifth!)
But, people oft quote (or misquote) this Shakespeare line, when embarking on some ‘adventure’.
This morning, I’m going to an outpatient clinic for an EGD. In lay terms, they are scoping my upper GI tract to see what’s what.
Some years back, after the accident, this was done. Erosion of the lower esophagus was found (acid reflux), and were some pre-cancerous cells. I’ve been on meds ever since, but my latest doc noticed I’d not been examined regarding progress/regression of these diseases. The last time someone looked, things had improved, but she’s thorough.
Apparently, no re-check for cancer cells was done.
SO, they will put me out with propophol (the Michael Jackson sleep aid) and see what is to be seen. And possibly take some tissue samples while they’re there.
Ain’t modern medicine wonderful?
Fortunately, this is scheduled in the morning, my being diabetic and all. (No food or drink for hours before!)
Being a veteran of both skin and blood cancer, this does concern me.
Wish me luck! Tell mother I died game – or whatever people say now…
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.
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! :-)
♫ Go together like a horse and carriage…♫
Once upon a time, I owned a home.
Nice corner lot.
In a sketchy neighborhood – it was all I could afford.
After a car ran into the house (driven by a drunk driver), a subsequent burglary (renovation workers?), and a plumbing failure with mold threatening, the insurance company cancelled my insurance.
A subsequent water damage problem came concurrent with the onset of my cancer, and loss of the house and insurance, home and medical.
Yeah, I know. Just lucky, I guess. :-)
I did land ‘on my feet’, thanks to a good friend who allowed me to move in with her, and being awarded medical disability. Fortunately, not only do I get SSDI, but I had the foresight to obtain additional private carrier disability insurance when I was employed. Together, they make just enough for me to survive.
But the private insurer likes to give me hoops to jump through – like me sending them medical and financial records – lest I appear to be actually working and getting ‘extra’ unauthorized funds from them monthly!
The joys of bureaucracy.
Now, my former employer, TMCCC*, has contacted me suggesting I take retirement! I just turned 62. And as I haven’t accessed their human resources website in many years, I had to jump through even more hoops.
All to advise them I’ve no plans to retire until 2017 – when I turn 65.
At least I’m not a close friend who gleefully signed up for Obamacare! When it came time to renew their government-mandated medical insurance, they were told they could keep it. For an additional $300 a month!
Unable to afford it, they opted for AHCCCS – Arizona’s Medicaid option.
And trying to advise the federal government they were discontinuing one insurance, and starting another was (in a word) difficult. Apparently, one calls in and leaves a message, so ‘they’ can call you back. ‘They’ do so (days later), and then threaten you with prosecution for not having insurance – even though you explained to them you were simply changing to another carrier!
(I should have included this in my previous posts regarding customer service, I know!)
I know all of us must deal with some variety of bureaucracy and it’s web of crap, but, with this modern age of computers, the Internet and menu prompts, you’d think it would be easier?
Especially on the older with infirmities.
*TMCCC – That Major Credit Card Company, where I was employed 22 years.
Kent (of Kent’s Hooligan Libertarian Blog) recently mused regarding the subject of animals, their ‘rights’, and his wearing of buckskin and eating animal flesh. And the spurious arguments of radical vegetarians. The money quote, to wit:
“I know how many vertebrates died for me to make my jacket. Three deer, a pig (for the brains I used to tan the hides), and an elk, which is where the sinew used to sew the jacket came from. (Various numbers of yellow jackets were also crushed when I rung out the wet hides during tanning.)
“How many animals died due to the farming or manufacture, and transportation, of your cotton, nylon, or hemp clothing? Habitat loss, agricultural chemicals, the trucks and factories and fuel all took a toll on animals. Both of us wear clothes that resulted in death. At least I own it.” (end)
Now, I’ve no argument with the rank-and-file vegan or fruititarian with regard to their lifestyle choice. Some varieties might be healthier than my choices. But, some seem bent on making me change my lifestyle choices, because they see theirs as the true way. Much like a religious zealot. Or a
global cooling, global warming, climate change, climate disruption (or whatever they are calling it this week) zealot.
As with any other good for you philosophy – when tied to a political agenda, it loses it’s purity.
Because it’s for the children. Or Mother Earth. Or Gaia. Or whatever they are calling it this week.
MY (libertarian-philosophical) choice is generally to leave others alone. I try to pass this knowledge onto to others who are receptive to it. If they are not, that’s their business.
Learning to leave others alone to their business is freeing. And less stressful.
It’s for the children, ya know!
(I’m gonna go have a bacon cheeseburger now! With onion straws, cheddar, barbeque sauce and mustard. And crisp French fries. Your choices may vary. And that’s okay.)
(I don’t know if that’s the correct term, but, it seems to apply.)
When I was in early elementary school, I had a great dentist. No pain, trinkets afterward. When I was in the Second Grade, I got a skull ring with ruby eyes for myself, and a heart ring for Susan Johnson, my girlfriend.
Then my Dad married my stepmother that Summer, and we moved. And I never saw her again. Nor the cool dentist. :-(
My adult teeth came in, and in junior high came time for me to revisit a dentist. My stepmother took me to hers, who had apprenticed under Dr. Mengele!
Not enough anesthetic, no sympathy, my own unfamiliarity with adult teeth. It was like that movie that set dentistry back 150 years…
And, my stepmother being embarrassed by my ‘carrying-on’ just never took me back. EVER.
And my teeth, which are very soft (I’m told because I was born premature) just rotted on the vine. My Dad’s example didn’t help, either. He had full upper false teeth by the time he was twenty-one!
So, much of my adult life has been avoiding dentists and dentistry, or having no insurance, or funds, and dealing with the wreckage of my past.
My current situation is a lower molar, filling compromised, tooth self-destructing. Fortunately, tooth pain has been intermittent and dealt with with topical aids. But recently part of the tooth broke, and the side is chronically abrading the side of my tongue when I speak.
And I like talking. OW!
I was able to blunt the edge enough to make things more comfortable – but I know a dentist visit is in my future.
And I keep repeating in my head, “Is it SAFE?”
Meanwhile in The Peoples Democratik Republik of Vermont?This is an email I got from one of my blog friends, has anyone in Vermont seen this
as far as driver’s license renewal?It has been recently been related to me the new regulations concerning driver’s license renewal in VT. There is a list of afflictions, diseases, disorders, etc.. that are automatic disqualifies. I wasn’t privy too the renewal form, or the complete list, but having DIABETES is on the list. The person that told me about this had to take a day off from work to have forms filled out by his physician, then he had to deliver them to the official state physician, then a non-medical tribunal (death panel?) will adjudicate whether he is deserving to clog up the People roads. After doing some digging on the ‘Net, he found that non-disclosure of a physical condition would be hazardous to your freedom – the state already knows what you have. They are in hopes you purger yourself, especially since the IRS is in charge of health care now. Fines, jail time, and suspension of driving privileges await you if you don’t believe the Feds should be involved in EVERY aspect of your life. So much for HIPPA laws, HUH?
Another thing I was made aware of a while back. Doctor’s offices in VT have you fill out a form during a visit. On it, are questions asking if you own guns, how many, what types, etc…. The questions are not optional, and you can not leave them blank. At the bottom of the form, you are informed that it is a FEDERAL document, and that any false statements are a FEDERAL crime. I imagine “None of your Fuckin’ business” would garner you a visit from your friendly local SWAT team at 2am.
I’m tellin’ you dude, the amount of crap is getting harder and harder to take. Something is going to break in this country, and it isn’t going to be pleasant when it does.
and other oxymorons, like military intelligence and jumbo shrimp.
(From The Silicon Graybeard, in part…)
Is it just me, or is it really the case that there are no adults left in charge in the country? These guys are worse than the faculty lounge crowd, they’re more like the student council! There are so many examples, I don’t know where to start, but WTF happened to the secret service? Didn’t they used to be competent? We have agents being sent home for being drunk from the Netherlands, from Miami and there was that rather big incident with the Colombian hooker. We have the president in close proximity with a guy with convictions for assault and battery, who was carrying an illegal firearm. And, of course, we have this story, which is sucking up most of the air. (Holbert at Townhall.com)
No, no, no. Everything is fine. They’re smarter and better than us. We just don’t understand how lucky we are to have them.
For those who continually fall back on government as the savior they sometimes aren’t, that last part is sarcasm.
Ms. Clinton likes proclaim she was a Goldwater Republican in college – then she grew up. I think those who clamor for government handouts when they are perfectly capable of working themselves are the true children. And, like children, they worship their parents who can do no wrong in their eyes.
“… government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.” – Ronald Reagan
My friend Borepatch recently brought up a primary technique in self-defense.
That of avoidance.
I remember being a callow youth, and one of my friends suggested (on multiple occasions) we visit a bar in a ‘bad part of town’ to start fights! To show how tough we were.
Now, my disability aside, when I was in my 20’s, I was thinner, faster, more imbued with testosterone, perhaps – but I wasn’t stupid.
And, I wasn’t tough. So I demurred.
Now, of course, life’s lessons have made me much slower, in more chronic pain, and less hormonal. I AM tougher, though. And maybe a little smarter.
Which brings me to my point.
I used to go ANYWHERE in The Valley. At any time. I was the real Travis Bickle. I don’t know if it was a death wish or stupidity, or simply ignorance.
NOW, I think “would I really want to be THERE, at that time, alone (or unarmed)?”
But these flash mobs and knockout squads aren’t just appearing in ‘the bad parts of town’. They are becoming ubiquitous. And, being disabled, I cannot just cross the street – quickly.
This is one reason I carry almost everywhere – and Condition Yellow is my code.
I can take care of myself, given the chance. I just hope I can see the opposition coming.
Some of you may recognize the post title as the theme song to the film and TV show M.A.S.H. It’s ironic.
It’s obvious from the outpouring of emotion that the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams touched many people. And caused THEM pain.
As a libertarian, I believe I’ve the right to do with my own body as I wish. You do, too. As long as it doesn’t affect other people negatively.
And there’s the rub.
I can eat more than is healthy, eat the ‘wrong’ foods, smoke or drink if I wish, watch ‘questionable’ videos, read unsavory material, and most of this doesn’t directly affect my family, friends, or former coworkers.
But, what if I choose to do something permanent…?
Why is it it appears the more artistic of us are the most tortured? Or is that a misconception based on the fact famous people get the media attention?
When I heard about Robin Williams, my first thought was he has children. And based on that fact alone, he should not have taken this path.
And then I thought of Ernest Hemingway, another artistic person with issues who ended his own life. And Vincent Van Gogh. And so many others.
If you have such issues, please get help! Know that there are people out there who care. And that the World would be lacking without you.
h/t The Actor’s Studio