Archive for March, 2009

Healthcareless

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

“Right side of body feels cold.” I Googled. The results were not encouraging. Opinions on the medical forums ranged from “stroke” to “holy shit, go see a doctor now”. Sound advice, so I called my doc. The nurse said he had gone home for the day. I told her my right side had felt cold all day. She asked if I noticed any discoloration, but I couldn’t see any. She said to monitor my color and head for the ER if anything changed. “Hope you don’t die.” she said. Very comforting.

I spent the next couple hours huddled under blankets watching TV. I couldn’t shake the feeling that my right side was colder. I went to bathroom to check my skin color. However the lightbulbs in that bathroom don’t match. One is yellow light and the other is white, so I couldn’t gage my color.

I went to the other bathroom for more even light. Sure enough my right ear was darker than my left. I didn’t notice until the next day that the light bulbs in that bathroom don’t match either. Attention to detail is not my strong suit. Convinced I was having a major malfunction, I raced out of the house in a panic. I couldn’t die yet. I hadn’t finished watching Angel Season 5. I had goals.

I headed into ER and filled out some paperwork. They handed me a light up vibrating coaster like they use when your waiting for a table at Bennigans. I’ll take some CPR and a basket of mozzarella sticks please. It wasn’t long before the coaster vibrated, which didn’t surprise me. I was dying after all. I went up expecting to see the nurse.

Instead the secretary gave me more paperwork to fill out. I did and dejectedly went back to my chair. Ten minutes later the coaster went off and I finally saw a nurse. She took my vitals and then sent me back to the lobby. It was another twenty minutes before the coaster buzzed again. On the plus side, I was able to get in several hands of cell phone poker in my last half hour of life.

They stuck me in a room and had me put on a gown. Then a secretary came in and had me fill out more paperwork. Having a stroke is harder than taking the SAT. I went with the old standby and answered “C” for everything. A nurse came in, checked my vitals again and said the doctor would be right with me.

I sat on the table and waited. For an hour. I peeked out and asked the nurse what was going on. She said there was only one doctor on staff and he was dealing with a critical situation. Nevermind that I was at death’s door. And why only one doctor on a bar night? Didn’t they know rednecks were breaking bottles over each other’s heads just down the street?

I went back in my room and waited some more. I lied down on the table and considered dying just on principle. Finally the doctor came in. He checked my vitals again. “Well,” he said “not sure what to tell you. The upper and lower halves of the body are on different vascular systems, so that’s not it. It could be an issue with how your brain is perceiving temperature, but I doubt it.” I also voted against this option. With no real diagnosis, he said to follow up with my doctor the following week. He promised to get me discharged quickly.

And then I waited another half hour. A nurse came in, not to discharge me, but to take my vitals. By that point I was feeling pretty vital and eventually they let me go. I haven’t had any symptoms since and was able to perform a self diagnosis: I am crazy.

I do expect to have a stroke once I get the ER bill. I look forward to it actually. I have a lot of cell phone poker to catch up on.

Weekend with the Phews

Monday, March 16th, 2009

I tend to only see the Phews when my parents are in town. This is pretty sad as they only live five minutes away. I do need to make an effort to see them more, what with the cat being in the cradle and all. Actually the cat is in my lap and my legs are going numb, but still I should see the boys more often. For the entertainment value if nothing else.

Phew #1 is growing both physically and mentally at an alarming rate. He informed my brother: “Daddy, I want to go to PBS dot org.” My brother pulled up the website and was shocked when Phew #1 began pointing and clicking. No one had showed him how and he’s only two. When I was two my skill set including picking my nose and pooping. Phew #1 had this down as well -

BROTHER: Did you poop?
PHEW #1: I’ve started.
BROTHER: Ok let’s get you changed.
PHEW #1: No daddy! I’m not finished!

Somethings just can’t be rushed.

Meanwhile Phew #2 is doing his best to graduate from gigantobaby to tyranotoddler. He can military crawl making him surprisingly mobile. His lucky parents have to keep track of two wandering infants now. The wheel of karma is grinding my brother for all the times he disappeared on us as a child. He disappeared in church, stores, the neighborhood and even once at the circus. He was a vanishing baby ninja. Hopefully this superpower is not genetic for his sake.

Phew #2 is also on track to be drafted by the Lions this year, shoring up their offensive line. I made the mistake of picking him up, effectively undoing five days of back injury recovery. I had gone to the gym earlier that day with no issues. Dumbbells are nothing compared to the big baby. If I can get healthy and train really hard, I may be able to bench press him one day. It’s a long shot though.

The coolest thing to see was the Phews bonding. Phew #2 learned the word “YAWWWWWEOWW!” and Phew #1 encouraged him to speak it often. “YAWWWWWEOWW!” they would belt out in unison at the top of their little lungs. My sister-in-law said this game was even more fun in the car. Better acoustics.

I admit I really enjoyed hanging out with the boys this weekend. I look forward to seeing them again at Christmas.

It’s just a wittle bunny!

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

RYAN: Pull the bar all the way to your forehead.
ME: Ok.
DONK!
ME: Ow.

The lump on my forehead from that unfortunate gym incident had more or less healed, so it was time to look for new ways to injure myself. That’s when I took Eric up on his offer of free skiing. Eric is a Detroit actor I met on the set of Raised Alone last fall. He sunlights as a ski instructor at Mt. Holly, and offered a free pass to any of his film contacts. So far as I know I am the only one to accept.

Though I used to ski every winter, it’s now been years since I’ve hit the hills. My friend Chris moved to Washington and my brother’s knee is 80 years old, so I have no one to go with. Still I’ve been doing it on and off for two decades, so I knew I would have to get creative on how to hurt myself. Eric came up with the perfect solution.

“Would you like to try snowboarding?” he asked.

Perfect! I had never snowboarded or even surfed or skateboarded for that matter. This was just the opportunity I was looking for. We went to the rental desk and checked out our boots. They asked for my drivers license as collateral, which proved to be unfortunate at a later point in life.

It took about twenty minutes to get my boots on as they were one size too small. I didn’t want to inconvenience Eric though, so I told him they fit fine. We then grabbed our boards and went out to the bunny hill. Eric admitted he had only been boarding for a year and wasn’t technically qualified to teach, but he did know the basics and walked me through.

We walked about ten feet up the hill and practiced some edging drills. I manged each drill with relative success, but putting them all together was a little more chewing gum than I could walk with. Still, when he asked if I was ready to try the tow rope, I said, “No problem!” I have used tow ropes skiing for years and didn’t think it would be a big deal. I leaned over and grabbed the rope.

WHUMP!

The snow was delicious.

I got up, leaned over and grabbed the rope again.

WHUMP!

Ok that one hurt a little.

After my second trip to the snow buffet, Eric asked I wanted to switch to skiing. I refused to admit defeat though, so he gave me some pointers. On my third attempt I kept my eyes up the hill and very gently squeezed the rope. It smoothly pulled me up the hill.

We got off about 1/3 up the hill, did a few more drills before boarding down. I made to the bottom of the hill with all the grace of a blindfolded giraffe. At this point my crunched toes were killing me, so I agreed to just one more run before moving on to skis. Eric agreed and told me he was going to the top of the hill. I assumed he meant we should both go.

When Eric reached the summit he turned around and was shocked to find me following him.

“STEVE GET OFF THE ROPE NOW!!!”

This annoyed me but I got off, about 2/3 up the hill. The harmless little bunny hill. On skis I go down the bunny hill backwards. Child’s play. Yet as my board picked up speed I began to see Eric’s point. Before I knew it I was flying and the bunny hill felt like Mt. Everest. I decided it was time to slow down so I employed the rear edge manuver.

The back edge of my board did slow me a little. However what really helped bring me to a complete stop was my tailbone smashing into the ground. Thank god I have something of a booty or I would have landed in the hospital. As it was all I suffered was a bruise that hasn’t quite healed after two weeks. Good to know if the breaks ever go out on my car, I have my ass to fall back on. Literally.

Eric and I switched to skiing after that. He gave me a couple pointers to correct twenty years of bad habits and the rest of the day was incident free. Almost.

When it came time to check in the rental equipment, they handed back my drivers license. However my hands were full of winter gear and gravity decided to pull one more fast one. I don’t remember dropping it, but apparently it fell into a black hole. I could not find it anywhere and when I called the lodge they had not recovered it.

It’s probably for the best though that I get a new license. I can report I am now an inch shorter thanks to the bunny hill.

Twilight Recap

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Twilight The Book:

BELLA: Edward?

EDWARD: Yes my sweetly frosted cupcake?

BELLA: I think you are a vampire.

EDWARD: What ever gives you that idea, my delicious sausage mcmuffin?

BELLA: The Indian werewolves tell ancient stories of their sworn enemies, The Cold Ones.  Or maybe that was from Underworld.  Anyway, you’re a vampire.

EDWARD: You’re right, my tasty bacon burger.  I am dangerous and may kill you any second.

BELLA: I don’t care, I love you.

EDWARD: Seriously, my lamb chop with mint jelly.  Right now I’m considering eating your liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

BELLA: Not listening as I’m so dazzled by your mussy just out of bed spiky used a whole bottle of gel hair.  Kiss me now!

EDWARD: As you wish, my spicy quesadilla.

BELLA: Whoa, Edward!  Why do you get so hard and stiff every time we kiss?

EDWARD: Um.  It’s just a vampire thing.   Say did I mention we’re playing baseball later?  I’m totally thinking about baseball right now.


Twilight The Movie:

BELLA: I am surly. And you are a vampire.

EDWARD: Yes my fava bacon gives you idea?

BELLA: Was that even english? What the hell are you talking about?

EDWARD: Sorry. Instead of writing original dialogue for the screenplay, they took it straight from the book and condensed it into fractured incoherent conversations my baseball later?

BELLA: I don’t care.  I’m surly and I love you.  Kiss me and get it over with already.

EDWARD: Ok, I’ll just think of Zac Efron.  Oh that’s not helping!

BELLA: God I’m surly.  Let’s go find some kittens and stomp on them.

EDWARD: Wow.  I thought Lohan was a be-atch but you make her look like Hannah Montana.

BELLA: Shut up and hand me my cigarettes.  And what’s with that stupid hair?

And they all lived happily ever after.