Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thoughts on the Massachusetts Election

"I want CHANGE! I want CHANGE!"

Christ, do you sheeple even LISTEN to yourselves? Or is your memory just that permeable?

Really, though, you have no memory of the party that PUT us in such staggering debt? That FORCED the health care crisis? That botched the holy fuck out of one of the worst natural disasters in our history?

This is starting to feel like jello goin' through the colander, folks.

I will admit, Coakley seemed like a total schmuck. God damn, ya stupid Democrats, if that's the best you can do, I'm kind of thinking you deserved it. Mismanaged, clueless, and mealy-mouthed is probably not what we want on our side, anyway.

I'm feeling foul about all this. Gah. Wonder if I've got a "How I Met Your Mother" on the DVR.

In other news, mom still fine! Recovering splendidly! Eating macaroni and cheese and poached eggs, two things that I believe anyone can survive happily on for a very long time.

Wheeeeeeww. Too many bad things happening to really good people right now. Doesn't it seem that way? Like, a bad moon's on the rise?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Good news!

Mom is better! She's swallowing, and not leaking, to their knowledge, and is expected to come home from the hospital tomorrow (Sunday).

Whew! I am SO incredibly believed. This looked a little bad, friends. I'm so glad I went up there. I am SO glad. Not that I did anything really besides sit there, and ask lots of polite (and only occasionally slightly pointed) questions...but I'm really glad that my sister didn't have to bear the burden of it all.

And, my brother even came in from Boston. I think it may have been - a year and a half? Close to two? - since I saw him. He didn't bring my three nephews, of course, circumstances as it were, but it was still excellent to talk to him for a while.

I can't believe she sounds as good as she does, I swear, given the way she sounded before the surgery and immediately thereafter. She sounded SO incredibly weak beforehand, and her coloring was just wiped out. I swear, I thought for a second that this had all (finally) turned her hair gray.

But today, talking to her on the phone, you can just tell she's feeling so much stronger. She's eating mushy food, pestering me to watch the MU basketball game, and complaining about Obama, so presumably everything is improving apace. (Mom's way to the left of Obama. She HATES him, too. I think she hates him more than the Republicans...no, I'm SURE she hates him more than Republicans. Well, she really thinks he IS a Republican, and that's why she hates him. She equates him with Joe Lieberman.)

I got back to Austin Wednesday night, just in time to watch the Longhorns debacle (poor Frosh Gilbert! As they said in Clerks, "I'm not even supposed to BE here!") and to get here for Austin Cold 2010. Again, Austin Cold is NOT Kansas City Cold, but I'll allow that 14 degrees is pretty massive for around here. I mocked The Man for dripping all the faucets last night - what the HELL, we never did that up north? - but he was vindicated by the sheer number of people I know whose pipes froze last night. Due props, The Man.

I also got back in time for this, the first day of Eat Healthy God Fucking Damnit 2010. I think I'll try the Volumetrics approach this time, because I read somewhere that it was the most successful weight loss approach. I think I like it because it's totally old school - drink a lot of water, and eat a lot of soups and water-containing vegetables, to fool yourself into thinking you're full. It's dieting circa 1972, when my mom and grandmother used to eat canned tomatoes and V8 juice and like Clamato or some such shit. You know, though, I can hang with that. I just bought me all the ingredients for that awesome classic Weight Watchers Cabbage Soup, which I can totally eat all the time, for some reason. And, I've got Roasted Veggie and Ancho/White Bean Chili on the stove simmering on the stove for this eve, so I'm totally not feeling deprived. I will refrain from a hearty sprinkling of cheddar cheese on top and big chunk of crusty sourdough bread as a scooper, is all.

Sighs contentedly. And did I mention The Man took The Children out for a couple of hours? And I'm ALLLLLLL by myself in the house?

It IS a good day.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Update on All The Suckishness Herein

Mom's surgery is finally over, FIVE AND A HALF HOURS later. So much for that "easy, gentle, non-invasive" laparoscopy.

So, the upshot is, they did get the hernia repaired laparoscopically. Technically, what they did was to push the stomach back into the abdomen, through the hole in the diaphragm (forgive me if I'm off on my anatomy a bit, John,) and then kind of tacked the stomach around the esophagus to stop the acid reflux and to help keep the stomach in place. This last bit is fairly common, apparently, and is called a Nissen Fundoplication. It's not very common to have almost the entire stomach in the chest cavity, though, which is what was going on with Mom.

There was a problem, though, in that, when they were attempting to insert a guide wire-thing into her esophagus, they popped a hole in her LARYNX. So, they had to take out all their guides and scopes and instruments while the doctor consulted with another laparoscopic doctor and an ENT to decide if this was a big deal. Apparently, it should heal on its own, provided there isn't any infection, so they just sewed up the hole, put everything back in, and finished the operation; hence, FIVE AND A HALF HOUR surgery.

On a 78-year-old woman. Whose throat you, um, just punched a hole in? Wait, what?

Being as I had been in the waiting room for eight hours at that point, and all I could really think about is "Is she alive or not," I did not, at that time, really think this through. But, friends, as I'm typing, I'm suddenly sort of realizing that this shit shouldn't have gone down this way, no pun intended.

Or should I expect this? Is it not a big deal? I can't trust my judgment right now, as I have very little forebrain to spare.

You know, I think it would all be less horrible if it weren't so unadulteratedly SHITTY in Kansas City right now. Last week, when we were all here for Christmas, it snowed and snowed and snowed, to the point that we were all trapped in the house for days, and I realized I hated the crap with every bit of my heart and soul.

Well, since then, it has not gotten above freezing - so none of the old stuff has melted. It also snowed all day two days ago, making driving horrible. (I do thank all the gods and fates that my mother still has her snow tires put on every October, though. As much driving as I've been doing, I would have SO been in the ditch or crashed into another car, like, 20 times by now.)

But the worst part is that it is MOTHEREFFING COLD. Tomorrow morning, when I wake up to make this horrible slog back to the hospital on the old snow, because of which I will probably crash? It is going to be MINUS NINE DEGREES. Yes, friends. Minus. The high will be a balmy 14 degrees, which will all end on Wednesday, when they are expecting three to six MORE inches of snow, followed by an Arctic blast, during which the high temperature - the HIGH TEMPERATURE - is expected to be ZERO.

I honestly do not know why people live here. I mean, I get that I've become a soft Texan; I don't dispute that. But, seriously, doesn't this, empirically, without bias or prejudice, SUCK?

Sorry; I don't mean to bitch. I'm exhausted and miserable. She looked awful when I left the hospital; all drugged and puffy. (And, she had weird air bubbles all through her skin and in her eyelids from the laparoscopy, apparently because they blow a lot of air into you. It felt like there were Rice Krispies in her arm, or like bubble wrap under her skin that you could pop. Fascinating, and completely disgusting.)

I'm not much for prayin', but today, I kept thinking about what Anne Lamott said about the most fervent prayers, which tend to consist of simply "Please please please please please!" and "Thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

Man, I hope that the latter is where we are tomorrow. Whomever I'm talking to.

Sitting in the Waiting Room

I am a patient boy. I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait.

We are THREE HOURS in to this surgery. Fuuuuck. When will it end?

Worry, bored, worry, bored bored bored. Hungry. WORRY, bored.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Teens suck thus far

This is it. The year I resume writing my blog.

Because, you wanna know why? Blog writing is SO "out" that it's finally back "in" again. I have decreed it thus.

Welcome to the teens. This is the decade that we, as a nation, and indeed as a world people, become awkward, pimply, and snarky. Hopefully, we will also finally learn how to drive. Can't say I'm holding my breath for that one, though.

I was expecting to be sleeping off a big ol' hangover today in the confines of my house, enjoying the last few days of my winter break and the dulcet tones of my darling daughters as they bean each other with Wii remotes. However, sadly, I find myself BACK in Kansas City - wherein I just left not five days ago - as my mother has become seriously ill. Thus, I flew back today, and here I am, in the land of single-degree temperatures (9, at present,) watching my mom sleep in her hospital bed.

They say it's a very unusual hiatal hernia; it's actually an esophageal hernia. The doctor says that she was probably born with her stomach pushed up through the abdominal wall. She apparently caught some sort of stomach bug, which caused some really violent vomiting, and this seems to have forced the stomach to flip or bend backwards, around the esophagus.

Last night, the vomiting got really bad, so they intubated her to get the stuff out. The good thing is that, when they did the gastrointestinal scan, the hernia corrected itself to some degree, and the stomach temporarily popped back into place. So, she's feeling better now, although she still can't eat or drink anything, and she is sort of in and out of consciousness. (My sister says that she looks MUCH better than she did yesterday, though.)

The doctor just came in and told us that she does need to have surgery to correct this, and it needs to happen before next week, or we could be looking at a very severe situation. Problem is, there's nobody at this hospital that can do it laparoscopically, so they'll have to transfer her down to a hospital in downtown Kansas City tomorrow. I'm thinking I'll probably delay my flight home and come back to Austin afterwards, if I can.

Sigh. Not the joyous "return to bloggin" post I was hoping to make. I had planned it out; it was going to be all full of bon mots and hip cultural references. It was downright witty, I tell you. You'll just have to take my word for it.

But, it's good to be back.