Friday, March 19, 2004

Spring has sprung

The pain
is gone.

The doctors are amazed that even though my blood sugar level is sky high, my blood work and urine samples show no Ketones, which means my body isnt in diabetic mode.

And Fry's Electronics is having an opening days sale.

So, Im off to shop for a Wireless G-card (for a laptop I dont have, but hey - its 24.99).

Just because Im at the hospital every two days, the sun is bright, spring has sprung and I feel good again.

Cause the pain is gone, in more ways than one.


"Hey Joe, you're smiling again!"
"I wasnt smiling before?"
"Nuh-uh. When you were sick, we tried to make you smile, but you just couldnt do it. Even when you tried to make yourself smile, you couldnt."
"Yeah, I was in a lotta pain."
"Well, welcome back my friend."
"Heh. :-)"


--- Tim H wrote:

> Hey Joe, good to catch up with you...if only
> briefly!

Hey Tim

I apologise for not replying sooner or sending you a
thank you missive.

I just got back from the hospital. They FINALLY lanced
the boil that was pressing on my spine and neck.

Lotta blood and screaming. Ok, it was intense, teeth
gritted grunting as they cut open and expelled blood
and pus from a boil nearly as big as two baseballs. (I
didnt feel the scalpel, but the pressure to push the
schtuff out.... whoo.)

Add to that, my blood sugar was sky-high, so when we
were together, I was actually pretty sick (hence the
need for me to run to the bathroom every hour.).. but
I was too stupid to realize it. Saturday was when I
took myself to the clinic. Monday I went to the ER.

One day later, the pain is gone. I can THINK again.

> My search for other cities to live in now includes
> SF,

Right on. I think you'd probably prefer Marin (but
you'd need a car).. but definitely.. itd be nice for
you to be out here for a few weeks in this kinda
weather, explore the hills and the coasts and the
cities of SF, Oakland, Berkeley....

> I¹ll certainly be
> coming back, and hope to see you in an apartment by
> then...

Yeah, I think I will be .. but I will prolly be in
Oakland proper rather than Berkeley.

> it felt really
> odd dropping you off at the shelter and going back
> to a 4 star hotel.

Whyever for?

*pah* If youre out here for awhile, you get adjusted
to people being in the places they choose to be.

> I hear your thoughts about Berkley, seems like a
> great place to be with a
> good support system and plenty of folk willing to be
> actively involved,

Yeah, Im in the right place for now.

> though it doesn¹t seem like the place to kick the
> java habit!

Im glad this aint Seattle... ;-)

> Get the laptop repaired soon and get your thoughts
> and images back online...

Yup yup

> Speak to you soon

Thanks again for coming by, man. It was truly appreciated.

To all the folk wishing empathy and good thoughts.

Thank you.

It is very much appreciated.

Thursday, March 18, 2004


Through the haze
, I heard the Physician's Assistant discussing my case with the supervising resident:

PA: (opening flap of skin) .. and there is still some residual in the tissue.. couldnt get all of the blood and pus...
SR: Indurated?
PA: Yeah, the people who saw it twice before didnt want to play with it .. they sent him home with antibiotics..
Me: (in my mind) I knew it..
Me: Can I see it now?
PA: Yeah.. but its a LOT of blood.. you can gently lift your head ..

I gingerly lifted my face from the swath of guaze and covers and sheets surrounded me, still warm but cooling blood dripping down my shoulders and saw what had been expelled.

Sometimes you forget how *dark* your blood can be, and there was bits of tissue in the red gauze. It was a lot more schtuff than I expected to be removed.

"COOOOOOOOOL!!" I breathed before I gingerly put my face back into the pillow and passed out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The painkillers are *so* divine

Ive still got the bump on the back of my neck.

I wont ever laugh at the phrase "Youre as much fun as a boil on the back of my neck" because I know what that means now.

The bump didnt go down, so per doctors orders I went to the ER at Oakland's Highland Hospital yesterday.

This being the Bay Area, the doctor assigned to me has flaming red tattoos on one arm, with a hebrew kaballa phrase on the other.

Many of the residents wear Doc Martens.

I digress.

They still havent lanced this boil.

They wanna use magic antibiotics.

Doctors today, I swear.

They did drain 30 cc's of pinkish pus and blood, but they had a hard time.. so they want it to be ripe.

I have serious objections to this (the pain? the fact that I look like someone stuck a sock in my neck? Did I mention the pain?) but I'll give them till tomorrow.

At least they gave me these lovely pain pills.

I can deal with anything while Im on the pills.
Kate is in town, but I hadda cancel our day out tomorrow.

Im scheduled to be at the hospital tomorrow.

As someone put it - "Highland Hospital? Its usually an all day event."

Yesterday, I was there from 10am until discharged at 6pm.

I dont think Im gonna have time to meet up with anyone.

I'll see her next month when she comes back this way.
My hypoglycemia?

They did a reading.. my sugar level had dropped to 270.

They were surprised. I wasnt.

Here are things Ive learned in this episode:

Do NOT take Ibuprofen if youre concerned about your blood sugar level. It will jack it up.

Infections will jack up your blood sugar level.

Orange Juice and many "natural" fruit juices is nothing but PURE sugar, so they dont help matters.

Among other things.

So, donuts have not passed through my lips since all this started.

I stillhave to get the lab tests.

Although one wit noted "Since you gave up coffee, youve been going through hell. Maybe you need to start up with Peet's again".

According to reports, Highland Hospital is one of the best trauma hospitals in the country.

Which is why some of the best and the brightest med students come here to do their residency.

To learn the best techniques.

They didnt wanna fuck with my boil.

They would rather do sexier trauma patients.

My boil merited nothing more than curio attention.

"Wow! Its as big as a baseball."

And they still dont wanna lance it. They want it to be riper.


I actually had to growl at Dr Windigo (Im not gonna hide Doctors names) to the right spot to AT LEAST get some of the fluid out.


To be a good doctor, you have to be able to the BASICS right dammit.

Which is why I firmly believe that they arent fit to open a medicine cabinet or wield a needle until their 4th year.

I go back tomorrow.

Please god, have them lance this thing.

I dont wanna get addicted to pain pills.