Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Attack of the Killer Squirrels

My dogs love to chase squirrels. Actually, when they see a squirrel, they focus in on the squirrel to the exclusion of anything else. I bet that if I let them tree a squirrel and left them there, they'd pass out from exhaustion before they'd give up trying to get the squirrel.

This is actually very annoying - dragging two 80 lb dogs in the opposite direction of a squirrel they want to chase. If only my dogs could read and understand the following news item, they might give up on chasing squirrel's entirely: BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian squirrel pack 'kills dog'

If you think that this is just something that happens in Europe (they're kinda weird over there, aren't they?), think again: When Squirrels ATTACK.

Beware! Beware!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Feeling fine

Just a quick post to follow-up on my earlier post... I had the stent removed yesterday and I'm feeling completely back to normal now, which makes Ray a happy boy. The stone never passed, but the urologist said that it might still pass in the next day or so. Oh boy, something to look forward to!

As for the stent removal - yikes! ouch! And he didn't even buy me a drink afterwards.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Please note that I titled this Happy Holidays and not Merry Christmas. I'm not saying this to be politically or un-politically correct, I'm saying Holidays because I'm not a Christian and I don't celebrate the birth of the mythic Jesus baby. I'm an atheist. I celebrate the passing of the new year and, for convenience sake (everyone else's convenience, that is), I participate in a gift exchange on December 25. I do it because I like to give presents to my family and friends and, since I grew up in a religious family, that's the day they do their exchange.

For years, I've been pissed about the "Jesus is THE reason for the season" billboards that pop up each December, but I'm happy to say that I haven't seen any of them this year. Jesus is not the reason for the season - the Earth's orbit and the Northern hemisphere's tilt away from the sun is reason. Unfortunately, this is just one of many science facts that are lost on most fundamentalists.

This year, I get to be pissed about the entire "Happy Holidays is wrong, Merry Christmas is right" campaign of the religious right. This is yet another case where these fundamentalists want freedom of religion, but only if it means that everyone is a Christian. If they want to wish me or anyone else a Merry Christmas, no one is stopping them. But if I (or name-any-corporation) wants to be inclusive and wish them a Happy Holiday, you'd think I shouted out, "Jesus is not only fake, he's a gay cowboy on Brokeback Mountain!" Which, by the way, is probably true.

Oh, and for the even smaller percentage of people that call themselves Jewish (smaller percentage than atheists, that is), have a happy Hanukkah. At least from what I know, Hanukkah represents a historic event as opposed to a mythic one (the birth of baby Jesus). (If I'm wrong about this, post a comment and let me know.)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My Thanskgiving Vacation

I just got out of the hospital after a six-day stay. It was the day after Thanksgiving and I went in for a visit with my oral surgeon to "expose" my implant. Before, during, and after the visit, I was experiencing abdominal pain, but when I got home from the visit, the pain became unbearable. I phoned 911 and an ambulance brought me to Sharp Mercy Hospital.

I could barely move without pain in the emergency room. I was given a CT scan and an X-ray, but the initial diagnosis was pain in my kidneys related to PKD. They checked me in to the hospital, put me on an IV drip, and administered morphine, then Dilaudid, for the pain.

Every day I spent in the hospital, I thought for sure that I would be checking out by the next day. But, the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. First, they thought I had ruptured some of my PKD cysts, but that diagnosis changed to pancreatitis (all the symptoms matched) until they finally decided it was a kidney stone in my right kidney.

Armed with the stone diagnosis, I went in for a procedure where the urologist stuck a telescope up my urethra and injected dye into my bladder to find the blockage. They also placed a stent in my right ureter and tried (with no luck) to locate the kidney stone and extract it. I was under anesthesia during the procedure, so I don't remember anything from the time I entered the operating room to the time they wheeled me out into recovery.

Since they were unable to recover the kidney stone, I was left with a string attached to the stent in my ureter that hung out of my penis like some sort of sick fly fishing bait (my friend Steve should enjoy that imagery). Oh, that and blood in my urine for the next 4 days (until today).

Two days after the procedure, I was finally let out of the hospital. I was (and am) still in a bit of pain, but nowhere near what I experienced in the hospital. The pain now has to do with the string in my penis, my swollen hand and wrist from an errant IV site, sores in the back of my throat from the breathing tube (for the surgery), and general pain in my stomach from the antibiotics. All this and I still have (presumably) a stone in my kidney that I'm waiting to pass.

At this point, I really don't care about the kidney stone. I just can't wait to see the urologist (sometime later this week) for a visit to have the stent pulled out of me. Oh, joy!