Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Adventures

This one isn't going to be easy. Nothing terribly traumatic occurred, but there were so many sexual references throughout the day that I believe keeping my blog PG-13 is going to be rough.

Becky and I started the day off early, as we had lots of driving to do. Well, she had lots of driving to do. Apparently, I had a lot of singing to do. You see, that's something Becky has brought back into my life: music. When Becky and I get into the car, I become the one in charge of the music, and I've introduced a lot of groups to Becky with whom she's been unfamiliar. Sometimes she'd know a song, but not who sang it. And as I've introduced new entertainers to her, I've been singing along. I sang so much yesterday that my voice was getting a bit roughed up.

We picked up an old character from Becky's life, but a new one to me. For the sake of a degree of anonymity, I'll call him "Floyd." He's known Becky for LONG time. He's also gay. As it says in my GitP signature, I'm straight, but not narrow. Narrow-minded, that is. What's more, Floyd had an excellent sense of humor. Add to all of this the fact that Becky considers him her "adopted brother," and that he knows numerous details of her life. Her rather PRIVATE life. He's the cousin of Becky's ex, Ed.

Ed has become a bit of a joke in our lives. He thinks he's G-d's gift to women, but the fact is that he's a TERRIBLE lover. (See what I mean about this being difficult?) It's because of Ed and Becky's more recent ex, Shawn, that I've been able to come off as an all-star in the love-making department. I've often said in jest that I'd love to meet either one so I could shake their hands and thank them for being such nightmares in bed. That, or just point and laugh.

Okay...Floyd gets into the car, and as soon as we hit the highway, Becky and I expose him to one of our favorite songs, "All Heaven Broke Loose." It's what we call a "happy, bouncy song." Our behavior had Floyd enjoying himself royally. He and Becky caught up for a bit, with me making the occasional humorous comment, and all was well.

In short order, we reached Becky's grandfather's place, where I was expecting to be tied to a chair, placed under hot lights, and interrogated. It never happened. The only emotional woes that seemed to await us was an ongoing questioning of Becky's professional choice. "Are you SURE you want to be a nurse?" And this seemed to come from a distant relation in town for a short time. While Becky became upset, as this kind of thing seems to happen too often, I got her straightened out by telling her that he's a minor character in her life, and therefore not worth getting upset over. I was pleased when I heard her saying those exact words to her mother a short time later.

I got me a gift out of the whole trip. Becky's mom and dad bought me "House: Season 6." This completes my collection for the time being. I said that it was unnecessary, but 'Nita waved away my statement as though it was a silly idea not to get me a gift. As I was opening my gift, I said that I would have liked to have gotten them gifts, but I'd spent a lot getting to PA.

Then came the drive home. Part of this involved getting Becky's cousin to his group home. The poor guy is severely autistic. We had to be on our best behavior, since we weren't sure what might upset him. So I worked to tell the tale of how Becky and I got together for Floyd. Story telling kept her cousin calm, and Floyd entertained. And once the cousin was gone...well, by then we'd reached parts of the story where others could add to the tale. I mean, I was saying how I wasn't one to tell Becky with whom she could be friends with, and Floyd said, "That makes you different from Shawn. Becky wasn't allowed to talk to me when she was with him." This immediately had me joking, "Why? Are you going to get 'gay juice' on her and turn her into a lesbian or something?" It was the kind of controlling behavior that drives people apart, AND it was simply absurd. Floyd is a nice guy who just happens to be gay. There was really no reason for Shawn to say Becky couldn't be friends with him.

Now for the best part. I'd finished telling the story of Becky and I, and we'd reached the drop-off point for Floyd. Ah, but I needed a rest room, and Becky wanted to give holiday greetings to what she referred to as "her second family." So we went inside with Floyd, and I was directed to the bathroom. Upon returning to Becky's side, she decided to introduce me to everyone.

I don't remember a single person she pointed to...because the third person she introduced was the infamous Ed. All she said was, "This is Ed," and I snorted and started laughing. I'd promised earlier not to point and laugh, and it was the concept of NOT doing so that made me start laughing. I couldn't control it. And once I'd started laughing, there was no stopping it. Becky continued her introductions, but I was done. She eventually turned to me and asked, "Do I need to take you outside?" Her tone was like that of a parent trying to reprimand a child. Well, this big kid knew he was in trouble and was willing to accept his punishment, so I agreed.

She was laughing just as much, and was ultimately pleased I did no pointing, which I was sorely tempted to do. All I really wanted to do was snort, "Ed," and do even more laughing. The tales I've heard about him tell me that he feels he has a sense of entitlement when it comes to women, and that's one of the silliest things I've ever heard. Couple that with him thinking he's "Wonder Lover," and he turns into the perfect character for a comedy.

With all of our traveling, Becky and I were exhausted. We got home and pretty much headed for bed with the intent of collapsing. We did a little more laughing at Ed's existence, and finally made it to bed.

And that, dear friends, was how my Christmas went. I certainly hope you all enjoyed your holiday, and we'll see what I can muster some time around the New year. Be well.

Oh...Becky's X-mas gift from her parents was something she'd half-joked about. Since she claims to be capable of getting lost while traveling a straight line, Becky stated she'd like a GPS. Her parents bought her a Tomtom. =)

Friday, December 24, 2010

The march to March

I don't know. Getting engaged seems, in my mind, to be a lot less scary than the prospect of moving in with Becky. We're getting a small taste of what living together will be like right now. By the time I leave on the 6th, we will have spent almost three weeks together. But...

...It's easy to accept things intellectually. I've told Becky that this is very much what life will be like once I move in. I'll be sitting on my tuchas most of the day, playing games, occasionally cleaning or cooking when I'm feeling up to it. Heck, I might push myself, as I've done a couple of times during this visit and still do those things, but I will be virtually useless the rest of the night, as I will have used up "all of my spoons, and then some." This is my life. It's far less than a thrill a minute. I've explained this to Becky, and she says that she accepts these facts.

But will she do the same on an emotional level after a few years? Will the same apply to me? I love Becky. I adore her. I dote on her every concern. Alas, there was an incident a week or so ago in which I grew frustrated with something quite common with Becky; she tends to communicate in partial sentences when there are multiple subjects for her attention. Well, after about a straight hour of this, I blew a minor mental gasket and almost brought Becky to tears when I explained that if she can't hold a conversation, let me go for a bit so she can finish whatever she's doing and then call me back. Will that kind of thing - the blown emotional gaskets - get worse once we share the same roof?

I guess one takes the same chance no matter where one goes, regardless of who one moves in with. I could have moved into Ray and Cody's place over a year ago and had all kinds of difficulties with their lifestyles. (Two guys living the 100% bachelor style. They either need girlfriends or the phone number to an excellent (but inexpensive) maid service.) Then again, I'm no prize myself. (My room is NOT filled with normal dust. It's, ummm...PIXIE dust. It helps people fly when they're happy!)

And now for a confession. Some people think it's a bad thing, and others don't care, but I'm a co-dependent. That is, I need to be needed. Let me tell you, for a guy with as many problems as I have, it's a welcomed change of pace when someone says or demonstrates that they require my presence in one way or another. And Becky needs me...in numerous ways. (And none of them kinky, you perverts!)

The one that motivates me most is that I think being left alone for too long is unhealthy for her. She's been left alone with her thoughts and quite a few dark memories. For such a lovely lady, life has been exceptionally unkind along the way. She's opened up to me, and my instincts started screaming at me that her living alone was both good and bad. It's good that she's been learning a few life lessons, but bad with all the time she has to dwell on some horrific experiences of the past. So she'll be alone for a wee bit longer, but my intent is to put an end to that. I will move in with her around the beginning of March. Once I'm here, she'll always have a vent. She'll always have someone to inspire her to do her very best. And she'll have a perpetual reminder that the future is hopefully much brighter than the past.

Thus, when I return to Kansas, I'll begin packing. I don't have much. I should probably go through everything and see what can be tossed out. I might even find a few things that I've been searching for since I moved. (Where, pray tell, is that pesky notebook with my screenwriting notes?) I should also invest in storage containers instead of using cardboard boxes, which don't age very well at all.

I'm not entirely sure if the guys will be happy to see me go or not. I've tried to be a minimal pain in the butt, but I don't know how successful I've been. (I suppose I haven't been THAT bad, as I've been told I could return should things go south between Becky and myself.) I think Ray has enjoyed having another set of ears that he can babble at, and Cody certainly likes having such an easy "target" around the house. And, of course, there's going to be some fun for Cody in the near future. Becky wants a desk top computer, and she knows Cody can build her a machine far better than the one I'm using at this moment. It might even be capable of playing games with the graphics turned UP instead of settings that are at their lowest possible. And Cody truly enjoys putting computers together.

So the next big change starts rolling toward me. It's been quite an eventful year. With any kind of luck, once I've moved in with my sweet, beautiful Becky, things will slow to a nice, comfortable crawl. No surgeries. No more moves. No relationship woes. Just sweet, loving bliss with the woman I plan on marrying.

* * *
Oh...a final, fun note before I go.

About a year ago, I discovered that by working with my hands, I can hopefully improve the strength and coordination of my fingers. When I discovered a bunch of LEGO at the trailer, I not only found a kind of physical therapy, but something fun to do it with.

Well, Becky knew about this. So what did she do? She went ahead and bought me a few hundred blocks of LEGO with which to "play" with. They were my late Hanukkah gift, and they were perfect. I mean, it's fun, funny, and healthy for me. I can't think of a better gift, other than receiving her love.

What's that? "What did I get her?" I spent a few hundred dollars to get to Pennsylvania to visit her. Becky's present this year was the man she loves, and she's extremely happy to have it. =)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One more time, but with FEELING...

For the second year in a row, there will be no Cost Of Living Adjustment, COLA, for those receiving Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability. It's turning into an annual screwing by the government, but we don't even get taken to dinner first. And here is how it's explained on the notice from the Social Security Administration:

Your Social Security benefits are protected against inflation. By law, they increase when there is a rise in the cost of living. The government measures changes in the cost of living through the Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI has not risen since the last cost-of-living adjustment was determined in 2008. As a result, your benefits will not increase in 2011.

I could be crazy, but it doesn't seem like the economy has stayed the same. It's more like things are just rising in price a little slower than usual...except for gas, which went through the roof years ago and has hovered around roof-level ever since.

And this precious CPI figure...? They're LYING about it. Flat out lying. It actually dropped last year, going from an average of 215.303 in 2008 to 214.537 in 2009. But this year, it's gone up. With Nove,ber and December still missing from the CPI index chart I found online, the CPI is currently at 217.868. Using the figure from 2008 against the current number, that indicates a 2.565% increase to inflation. According to the law that they state they're following, that's the increase I should be seeing this year. Even if I calcukated the approximate 2% drop in the CPI that usually occurs in November and December, it would come to 217.557. That would be a 2.254% increase to inflation. (Thank G-d I have the use of a calculator, or I'd be completely lost.)

To briefly explain, the CPI is compiled using the 1982 base of 100. Thus, the figure of 217.868 that I stated above would indicate a 117.868% increase to inflation since then. In other words, subtract 100 from the figure I announced and you have the percentage of price increases since 1982.

Of course, I'm probably the only person to look it up online and realize the lie we're being sold. And to whom should I take my complaint to? The Social Security Administration? They'll probably tell me to talk to the Department of Labor. They, in turn, will probably refer me to some committee made up of select Senators, and none will have the time for me. So I'll be referred to the White House, and you can guess whether or not President Obama is sitting by the phone, awaiting me angry call.

This missing increase would have brought me something in the neighborhood of $200 over the next year, using the lesser of the two increases I've mentioned. And even with that, I'd STILL be living beneath poverty level.

I should look at the figures again in a few months. If they are as I have predicted here, you can safely bet I'll be calling Social Security to ask where my money is. Because two years in a row without inflation? Steady decreases of any kind haven't been heard of since 1930 to 1938. And I'm sure The Great Depression had nothing to do with that, right?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One down...

A week ago, I wrote "The Gripe." I was fairly annoyed at the cryptic messages people would leave as their status on Facebook. So much so that I carried it over to MY status bu telling people, "Just stop it!" I then let several people guss what the problem was. Amazingly, none of the people who were confused were the guilty. Seems others somehow understood the message...I guess.

Then again, they probably didn't. Because I was on Facebook and a couple of people had nonsense status messages. Here's what the two said.

Person #1: good run

That's it. No capitalization. No punctuation. And worst of all, no context. It means nothing.

Person #2: Ugh...really. Was that dream necessary?

That one's written from memory, and I'm not sure if I got it completely correct. Again, absolutely no context. It's meaningless without an explanation. So to both of these, I wrote, "Your post makes no sense." That's it. I stayed true to myself...

...and true to my word. Because person number two came along and said, "That's too bad." Well, I'd promised on FB that I would start cleaning house, and she's been regularly making nonsense posts for her status. Too bad for me? No, too bad for copping an attitude with a nice guy like me, because now she doesn't receive my counsel should she want it. If that's her response to being a "friend," I can do without her. I have enough going on without having to decode status messages. *PUNT!* She's gone.

The most upsetting thing about this person is that she's young, pretty, and SMART. That last is the most important. She should know how to make clear and concise statements. Instead, she flashed that anger she dislikes so much, or so she claims, at me, the guy who probably deserves it the least.

I then summed it up in my own status, finishing with, "As promised days ago, I cleaned up. She's gone. So...did anyone else not want me as a friend?"

To be honest, I'm waiting for it. I think Jimmy Kimmel is right; it's impossible to truly have THAT MANY friends. No one has hundreds of friends, let alone the 62 that were on my list. Now it's 61. (I was going to kick someone on Kimmel's "National Unfriend Day," but he actually kicked me first. How's that for irony.) I suspect that that number will diminish with time, and I suppose I'm okay with that.

It's just that "That's too bad" sure did sound a lot like "F&%$ off" when I read it.

I like to make her cry

It sounds pretty mean, doesn't it? I mean, you all probably know who she is, as I mention her often enough. Simply putting "her" in the post title made you all think "Becky." And the fact that I like to make her cry...Well, that doesn't sound like the nice guy so many people have come to know and love, does it?

The thing is that I don't make her upset. When she starts crying in the way that I like, it's because she's shedding "happy tears." And since you're all curious about how I do it, I'll tell you.

As you all know by now, I'm not made of money. If I had spare money to give, it would go toward spoiling Becky, (as well as helping my friend Julie). I can't afford to give Becky materialistic things to show her that I love her, and...Well, let's face a certain fact here. Saying "I love you" often loses that certain something along the way. The first time it's said, it's scary and exciting. Once it's been accepted, it's just thrilling to hear it. Eventually, we grow complacent in hearing the words. They're expected and seem to have infinitely less impact. Somewhere along the way, we sometimes lose the "I," and the phrase becomes a quick, "Love you."

This needs just a bit more before I tell you how I bring Becky to tears. Since Becky has moved, our ability to talk on Skype has been diminished. Our combined connection is so bad that if we bring up video, the two of us are either frozen images or colorful smudges on one another's screens. Thus, Becky loses out on the meaningful look I sometimes give when I say, "I love you." I haven't asked if she notices, but I also change my tone of voice. We could be acting goofy, or even just sound distracted. But as I walk off to refresh my diet root beer of the like, I pause and say those three magical words as clearly as I can.

So here I am, feeling like "I love you" isn't enough, and unable to have roses delivered, or buy her jewels, or even just stacks of books that she would enjoy. Living over 1,000 miles apart at the moment makes taking her out to dinner a bit of a problem, as well. I'm left with only one recourse: write her a letter.

According to my records, there have been three such letters, not including the novel that she considers a love note unto itself. Each of these writing is filled with my purest thoughts; all of my fears and desires hit the page, as I explain all that is roaming my heart and mind. The thing is, looking over those notes, I don't simply fill them with compliments. I manage to speak honestly about the flaws we both have. (And believe me when I say that I have quite a few more than her.) I write about my dreams and fears. In several pages, I convey to her so much more than three words can on their own, and I do it with tender honesty.

Each time she's received such a letter, the response has been the same. Becky starts to cry, and says, "Just when I think I can't love you more, you go ahead and prove me wrong." Hers are tears of joy; she can't believe that she's finally found someone not only accepting of her, as past boyfriends weren't, but also encouraging her dreams. I mean, she's wanted to become a nurse for some time but her last boyfriend not only made it difficult, but made no effort to help her achieve her goals. In fact, he was quite detrimental to said goals. And here I am, reminding her that she is not only loved, but that I will fight to see that she is successful in her desires.

I might as well throw in an example of what I sent her recently. Mind you, you don't get the whole letter, as that's between Becky and me.

I know you doubt it, but you are quite strong, Rebecca [last name]. It shines when you take risks in your life to see your imagined future become a reality. It practically explodes in everyone's face when you choose to fight for that which you want most. I want to inspire your strength the way you inspire me.

Mind you, these letters also tend to lead to a most common argument, if "argument" is what you could really call it. It's a contest as to which one of us was the lucky one. She thinks she's lucky for having found someone as open and loving as I am. I think I'm lucky for discovering someone so sweet and accepting. Honestly, I wouldn't mind having that particular argument until we're old and gray.

There's never any real intent to make Becky cry. That's simply the result of me touching her heart the way I do when I set my mind to writing her these occasional love letters. From my mouth to G-d's ears, these should be the worst of the tears that ever fall from her eyes. Tears of joy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Haggler

"Coming to CBS next Spring: A middle aged Jewish man WILL get the price he wants. No businessman is too tough. No female executive can withstand his charms. He is...THE HAGGLER!"

Becky seems to think I have greater haggling skills than she does. She claims that people can walk all over her, but that I have some superhuman ability to get what I want the way I want it. And this is all because of her current internet connection.

It's crap. We used to have voice AND video chat daily. Now we don't dare turn on video until we say goodnight, as that will throw all Skype settings into the red, and the video will be a colorful smudge, if that. She needs a solid connection. And because all utilities are included with her rent, she needs to approach the landlord about getting cable internet or the like. as we discussed this, she said that she would offer to pay more if it was necessary, to which I replied, "No! Never offer to pay more unless he asks for it. Because once you offer, that's all he'll think about."

Little things like that in our conversations seem to make her feel that I have some great power that I, thankfully, only use for the benefit of mankind. If put toward evil purposes, mankind would suffer...or something.

While chatting earlier today, I explained that my "powers" were nothing compared to that of the master, my father. And so I told her the story of how he took me to buy a car.

What happened is that I'd driven my personal vehicle to pick up some parts for the family business. On the return, someone ran a red light and we collided at about 30 MPH. The front end of my car was ruined. It had to be towed from the accident site. Because this happened while I performing a task for the business, Dad offered to buy me another used car.

We drove to Langhorn, Pennsylvania, which I believe is a town made of nothing but used car dealerships. No one actually LIVES there. We went to several lots, and were at one where I'd finally found a car I liked that was within Dad's price range. We sat down with a salesman, and it was then that my blood sugar decided to drop. So all we wanted to do was run out for some lunch, and we'd come back to make our purchase.

Oddly, the salesman didn't see it that way. He thought we were making excuses to leave and not come back. Thus, he started trying to strong-arm us into making a deal, right then and there. "If you don't take this deal right now, it won't be here when you get back."

That's when Dad spoke up. "We're not coming back. My son is a diabetic. He needs food. Instead of offering to be patient, you tried sales tactics. For that, you lose the sale entirely." (Or something like that.)

And then we left.

The next dealership we went to had a 1987 Chevy Camaro with a V6 engine. It was priced around $5,200. Well, I'd never owned a phallic symbol on wheels, and this was my chance. So we sat down with yet another salesman, and the haggling began. Of course, when one hears "haggling," one assumes both sides keep adjusting their price until a deal is made. Not so when it came to my father.

Salesman: Okay...So we have a price of $5,200...
Dad: Yeah, I'm not paying that much. I have $4,000 cash to spend right now.
Salesman: Well, I suppose I could bring it down to about $4,900, but -
Dad: You're not listening. I have $4,000 in cash to spend right now.
Salesman: Okay...I'll go talk with my manager.

Off he goes in what is a common trick. The salesperson will walk off, out of sight of his customers, talk to no one, and return with another offer. I'm almost positive that's what this guy did.

Salesman: My manager says we could probably come as low as $4.500 -
Dad: You're still not listening. I have $4,000 to spend right now. If you won't take it, I'm sure someone else will.
Salesman: Okay...Let me get my manager.

This time he really did talk to a manager, because they both came back to talk to us.

Manager: Sir, I believe reducing the price by $700 is adequate enough. And $4,500 for that car is practically a steal.
Dad: Okay. (To me) Come on, Rob. These guys don't want our money that badly.
Manager: What if we cut another $200?
Dad: Make it $4,000 and you have your sale. Otherwise, we take our business elsewhere.

Well, that's how I ended up with an '87 Camaro at just $4,000. Dad named his price and simply refused to budge. And while Becky believes I'm some kind of haggling god, I pale in comparison to the man who taught me how to seek a bargain. So...

"Next week on THE HAGGLER! The master becomes a student once more when he has to face his father. Will our hero be able to learn the secret of 'The Golden Coupon'? Find out next week!" =P

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Gripe

I feel the need to gripe, and I think I'm justified in doing so.

I recently joined Facebook, and was ultimately pleased to find out I have 62 friends. I may not be nearly as close to all of them as I'd like to be, but they're there. It's good to know I have people who care, even if some only do so peripherally.

Now, every single day since I've signed up, I've stopped in to see what my friends are up to. Like my friend Dawn, who is not only my little friend Lizzy's mom, but also VERY active within the cancer community. Need to know about a blood or bone marrow drive on the eastern end of Long Island? Dawn's your woman. Then there's Bryan, who rarely updates, but when he does, he makes a comment that can be understood by all. Like this evening, when he wrote, "What a wonderful night for a fire." Odds are good that he loaded up his fireplace, set a log to roasting, and settled down with his lovely wife for some relaxation time. (No idea how much of that is accurate, but that's the idea I got when I read what he said.)

None of this is anything to complain about. Some of my friends make perfectly coherent posts on their status, and that includes Becky, who is so much more than a friend.

Conversely, there is an entire crowd of people who put updates on FB all day long, and NONE of them can be understood. Like one person who put the following message up: "Great...I'm effing terrible now at something I was great at." What was this person good at? What makes this person think they're now terrible at it? How important is this task? Is it as important as being able to communicate clearly or as trivial as a video game? I would say the former on that last question, as I have no clue what this person is talking about.

It ultimately becomes bothersome because MANY people do this. They leave these cryptic messages on the pages, and then leave it for everyone to guess what they're talking about. Then, when an attempt is made to find out what they're talking about, they manage to answer nothing. It remains a mystery, and that just kind of ticks me off.

Take Siege, for example. He says he got community service, despite being innocent. Well, that's great. What was he accused of doing? I asked that question directly. The answer was...nothing at all. I received no response whatsoever. It was as though I hadn't typed a thing.

If this was an occasional occurrence, it wouldn't bother me so much. But when it seems to happen daily, it gets a little tiring. So I think I'm going to start doing some of it myself, as well as start posting beneath such cryptic messages, "I have no idea what you're talking about. Elaborate or shut up." Not exactly the kind of thing a "friend" would say, but then friends also wouldn't make you play detective to find out what's going on in their lives.

And that is the end of my brief rant. I'm off to fight crime and the like until Becky is off from work. Be well, all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mystery...solved?

The last time I was with Becky, she said she caught me sleeping with my arms up in the air, as though I was about to dive into a pool. Apparently she woke in the middle of the night to find me like that, said something, and it put an end to whatever it was that I was doing in my sleep.

Well, I caught myself doing it again last night, not once, but twice. And in both instances, I was dreaming about flying. I remember nothing else about the dream, except that I was in the air, heading somewhere. Just to be a complete mush, I'll claim that I was flying to PA to be with Becky.

This little mystery wouldn't have been partially solved had it not been for the fact that I sleep on a rather large, stylish bunk bed. The upper level is covered with all sorts of things I never really unpacked. When my arms went up, they met hard resistance, and that first collision woke me only partially. I was aware of my arms being in the air, so I brought them down and apparently immediately returned to whatever dream I was having, for they went up again, hit the upper level, and I woke up just a bit more.

That's when my semi-conscious brain became aware that I wasn't alone in bed. I knew my "wife" had crawled into bed with me when I was drifting off to sleep when I'd initially laid down, and now I realized she was snuggling into me, as well as rolling onto her back, looking for love.

Hmmm...seems I've shown off my fiancee to you folks, but not my wife. Well, here she is...


That particular picture is of her having crawled into the bag I'd been traveling with when I last went to see Becky. If you remember, Becky returned to KS with me, and when the bag was empty, Nike crawled into it. She was too cute not to snap a pic of her.

And this is why I'm up before 7:00 AM. Between flying around and a little love-fest with my kitty, I ended up fully awake, and headed straight to the internet to report that one of my oddities had an answer. At least a partial answer. I'd really like to know where I was flying off to. Was it to see Becky? Was it to rescue Julie? Was it to see my ailing father?

So many people I want to fly off to to see, and all this gravity holding me to the ground. It kinda sucks.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A real pain in the foot

I wish I knew exactly what was going on. I mean, my foot hurts, and I have some good ideas as to why, but I seem incapable of keeping my paranoia to a minimum, and the worst is seeping into my thoughts.

As I reported in my last post, I got another shot to my foot on Monday. This is a good thing, as far as I know, as it will help me deal with the pain. But the level of my pain is so "up there" right now that it's making me worry. Did the doc simply exacerbate those areas of my foot that cause me discomfort, or did the shot he gave me allow just a little bit of bacteria inside, and now an infection is growing?

This is the way it always seems to go when I get any kind of hole in my foot. I freak out and fret that another case of osteomyelitis is on its way. I've actually mentioned this before, calling it, I believe, "osteomyelitis on the brain." It's what my old podiatrist called a logical illogical fear. It's logical because that chance does, in fact, exist. It's illogical because not every cut is going to result in a bone infection. Thankfully, I've received a kind of confirmation when it comes to said infection. At one time, I started off with, "I had osteomyelitis once..." and the doctor I was seeing finished, "and never want it again."

Really, it's quite difficult trying to explain the pain to someone who's never experienced it. The infection hurts rather badly at all times. I was on a steady diet of percocet when I was hospitalized for that one official case of it. Two maximum strength percocets every four hours as needed for pain, to be exact. And I needed it. And then, just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I said one day that it felt painful enough for the bone to actually be broken. Sure enough, an x-ray revealed that what was left of my third metatarsal, which appeared to be somewhere between 30% and 40% of the bone, had snapped...from walking on it. For all the time that I spent off my feet, it was probably a stroll to the bathroom that did me in.

I didn't get a cast on my foot. There was really nothing to cast. You see, a cast is used so a bone can be set and then held in place so it will heal properly. When more than half of the bone has disintegrated from infection, there's nothing to really set. What was left of the bone would have to heal and grow back on its own.

And little did I know, even back then, when I was following the progress of the infection, that it had affected the second metatarsal as well. The head of both bones, closest toward my toes, didn't heal up with the nice, rounded edges they normally seem to have. They grew back with what appears to be sharp, flattened edges. I almost wish they could remove those two pesky bones and replace them with stainless steel. Maybe - just maybe - they wouldn't hurt as much.

Meanwhile, it's day three after the shot, right around the same time when the last shot kicked in and I was receiving relief. Instead, it still hurts. It hurts a great deal. I have to "prepare myself" to wander off to the kitchen to refresh my diet root beer. And I keep popping my painkillers in the hopes of accidentally getting some relief, but know that until the shot starts working, the pills are practically placebos.

And then there's that fear. That fear that when the doctor poked a few holes in my foot, he allowed something to get inside. Just a microscopic thief of health that could cause so much harm. Oh, he cleaned my foot well when he injected me, and covered up the holes the same way he did on the first shot. But that nagging fear is there, tainting my hope of getting pain relief.

This all started yesterday, when I awoke and felt such pain in my foot as to make me worry. It's probably the fact that the weather is getting colder, but it coincides with the shot, too. I immediately had visions of leaving to see Becky on the 17th, getting there on the 18th...and then landing in the hospital shortly after because of some bizarre, extreme pain inside my foot. I would then find myself stuck in PA, if one can truly call it "stuck." But here's how I imagine it would play out. I end up in the hospital for about 10 days. In that time, I become a pain in the butt, demanding a chest catheter be installed so I don't have to suffer through blown veins from the antibiotic. (I've had Vancomycin collapse a vein after only one dose!) A chest catheter would also allow me to leave the hospital so I can set up the IV on my own. And because it would be impossible to travel by bus, as that would mean more than 24 hours of doses missed, I'd have to stay at Becky's, setting up my own IVs at her place until a total of six weeks of antibiotics was completed. Afterward, I'd need minor surgery to remove the chest catheter. Then, and only then, could I head back to Kansas.

The only up side to this is that I'd be with Becky. And that's a pretty big upside. It would almost be worth getting sick, except I don't want to actually BE sick during my visit. That would make it three times in a row that we were together and I had some health-related issue. The first time, my knee blew out. The second time, I developed the cold from Hades. This third time...? I'd like to stay healthy during the whole visit, thank you very much.

I pray all of my concerns stay in my head, and that the shot kicks in soon.