The universe has spoken to me once again (for previous occurrences describing words descending upon me from the totality of existence, read HERE and HERE). I’ve experienced a singularity of my present and the experiences HERE chronicled.
You see, I got a comment on the above linked post from a woman whose husband has sustained a brain injury and is contemplating having a Baclofen pump “installed” (for a compendium of my posts concerning the Baclofen pump, direct the graphical representation of your mouse (i.e. “cursor”) HERE and apply pressure to the left button on said mouse). It is to these good people, that I dedicate this entry.
Listen, the battery on my pump was near death, so I had to have the whole pump replaced.
This I did, or rather had done, two days ago. There are a few remarkable occurrences that I would like to relate to you, dear reader.
1. This first point is not particularly remarkable compared to the other two, but deserves to be mentioned – the procedure was performed by the fabulous Dr. Deborah Fisher. She does surgery, pump refills, Botox injections and pain management, all with a very cool South African accent. She is, without a doubt, one of the good ones and one of my favorite people.
2. The name of the anesthesiologist was, I sh*t you not, Dr. Pillow. Put another way, the man whose responsibility it was to put me to sleep was named “Dr. Pillow”. Dr. Pillow had an assistant named Rip Van Blanket*…twas the darnedest thing that team Pillow/Blanket should manage my sleepy time…
3. True to their names, the Pillow/Blanket duo had me so stupefied that, when I woke up in the recovery room, I could swear I was in a staging area, awaiting the procedure. I was nearly set off when this blue flaming nurse asked me if I wanted something to drink, I had to check myself because I was indignant that this guy was trying to thwart this procedure that I worked so hard to set up by offering me a drink minutes before it was to be performed.
The hoops I had to jump through to get this operation scheduled is a saga worthy of its own post. Moreover, my recovery from this procedure has been much smoother than when I got the first pump. For next time, I’ll give a full summary/timeline of the major events associated with the pump.
That the words on this website have reached but a few people is reason enough to keep it up.
*This name is total bullsh*t, his real name was “Todd” or “Bill” or some other such name common to a suburban, middle class white male. He didn’t say his last name, so for purposes of this blog let’s say his last name was “Valium”.
INSPIRATION! I found you! It was hiding in the vast tangled forest of the rules and regulations that is standardized testing.
You see, I work in a middle school and state testing days are quite an ordeal. The only comparison I can think to make is what a building would have to go through to prepare to receive the president (a lame comparison, I know. I’m still shaking the rust of my inspiration gland).
EVERYTHING is considered a threat (to test security), every corner is monitored by highly trained personnel (i.e. the next name on the alphabetized staff roster as duties are assigned), and the event is catered (insofar as you can say that school lunch is a catered affair). My duty was predetermined at conception.
Listen, I’m a dude. Society dictates that I potty in a room where only dudes are allowed. Rumor has it that there are similar rooms for chicks, but I’ve never been in one. During state testing, the restrooms have to be monitored. The students like to have think tanks after going potty. Such a clandestine rendezvous might cause a student to score a little higher and help him or her land a job that he/she is not qualified for (before discussing it in the bathroom, he/she thought the square root of 64 was 116, or that George Washington discovered America, or something).
Such a forbidden meeting might go like this (it’s funnier if you imagine them speaking in British accents): “The answer to #4 is unequivocally option ‘C.'” Says George. Carl scoffs at this, replies “I’d put ‘C’ if I wanted to get it wrong!” Jim busts in and says, “Will one of you please hurry? I really need to go potty.” He then starts doing the potty hop on one leg. George and Carl, having agreed that the answer is actually ‘D’, have moved on to discussing the merits of multiple choice testing and are too engrossed in the subject to hear Jim’s urgent request to pee (peequest?). Just as they decide that short answer questions would be the best assessment tool, but too difficult to grade, Jim soils himself. Now Jim rushes to finish the test so he can go home to change his pants. He ends up failing the test, and repeats the grade. His self esteem is shot, he stops trying in school, and is forced to take a low paying job at an aerosol can factory. As we all know, aerosol cans deplete the ozone layer – contributing to global warming.
In effect, not monitoring the bathrooms during standardized testing contributes to global warming.
This brings us back to my conception. In order to prevent cheating, rousing discussions on testing methods, and global warming, the people who create and enforce standardized testing (Satan, Barbra Streisand, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) have decreed that all potties be monitored during standardized testing. As a male, it is altogether fitting and proper that I should do this. Getting back to being I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D (part one HERE), ‘P’ will now stand for “potty monitor”.
In keeping with the topic of standardized testing, ‘I’ stands for “Irregularity”. This is a very common, yet much maligned term used for any aberration from testing procedures, which is pretty much everything.
For instance, I told a student to “knock it dead”, ‘it’ being the science test. Moments later an owl flew by and dropped a letter at my feet. It was addressed to “Test Defiler Wilson”. I opened it and it started screaming at me (sounded like Tom Cruise). It said, ” It was reported at 8:03:56am that you bade a student to ” knock it dead” in reference to a test. This is in direct violation of subsection ee of decree 17 of chapter 119 of section four of the third edition of the educator code, copied here for your convenience: Thou shalt not wish luck to any student the student to figuratively use violence between 8:02 and 8:07am. Examples: “knock it dead,” “kick it’s butt,” and “slay that puppy”. For this irregularity, we’re taking away your stapler. May God have mercy on your soul.”
I can’t give you an example of a real irregularity – that, in and of itself, would be an irregularity. However, I can tell you that ‘R’ stands for refill.
When I write the word ” refill”, you probably think of an icy cold beverage at your favorite local eatery. That is quite far from I’m talking about. I refer, of course, to going to the doctor to refill the pump in your abdomen with that sweet, sweet muscle relaxer called Baclofen – which is 1,000 times stronger than the oral stuff. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, I’ve provided some pictures for you. These shots capture the wide variety of emotions that surface during a refill (read the captions for more info).
With my condition, I’ve had to fight off a lot of ills.
Life is easier when you are given the right medicine,
I’ve had IVs and injections, but mostly pills.
Below is a list of some of the drugs I’ve taken.
I’m sure I’ve left more than a few off this tabulation,
The last four years I have played a kind of medication roulette.
The medications mentioned are from top of the head improvisation.
So as not to show bias, the meds are in order by alphabet –
To reduce spasticity I take Baclofen
Clonazapam turned me into a zombie
When my poo got too hard, I took Coalase to soften
I took decadron to make my brain less swelly
A painkiller called Dilaudid filled me with glee
Fioricet rushed my headaches away
Thanks to Flomax, I filled the toilet with pee
Gabapentin didn’t keep the tremors at bay
Hydrocodone provided quick and easy pain relief
no more pain with morphine
Nuvigil keeps me awake and on task
Provigil worked ok until Nuvigil hit the scene
Ranitidine – you probably know it as Zantac
Calm the tremors with Requip
A spasticity med that didn’t work is called Tizanidine
Viibryd = no more frowny lip
With Zoloft, the sun always shines and the grass is ever green
I can’t make everything rhyme on this,
specifically, I speak of TBI is…
Throat is Bumfuzzled about Ingestion – It is not uncommon for TBI and stroke sufferers to develop dysphagia – Siberian for “confounded neck-hole”. I still have difficulty swallowing liquids without some getting into my windpipe.
Miclog #s 5, 6 & 7: I wrote 5 & 6 about a month ago 7 will be more updated, to simplify things, I will call this whole thing miclog #567, as I will probably never get that high. I am going to copy and paste 5, 6 & 7. Why? Because I can. Here we go –
Microg #5 (“Inception”) – After seeing the Hollywood feature with Leonardo Dicaprio, I thought to myself, “the landscape of my mind is a lot like Paris, and I would love to have Leo Dicaprio tinkering around in there.” Unfortunately, Leo was not available and dream invasion doesn’t exist *sigh*…guess I’ll keep dreaming of the day when Leo comes to sedate me and invade my dreams. The only alternative to that dream within a dream is to have a hypnotherapist “incept” the idea that it is no longer necessary for me to instruct my left arm to take action, the way you command your butt-cheeks to clinch when you need to abstain from flatulence at the dinner table. Listen, I waste an excessive amount of “CRAM” (Cognitive Random Access Memory), thinking about moving/manipulating my left arm/hand; resources that should be devoted to ending world hunger or pondering the age old question: Diamond Dave or Sammy Hagar? Actually, I have already found the answers to both – magic and Diamond Dave (period). I need more energy to anticipate the needs of my darling daughter and her tyrannical compulsions for juice and pancakes. To reprogram my noodle to devote a reasonable amount of “CRAM” to the critical tasks outlined above, I have enlisted the services of a hypnotist. At this point, I have done pretty much everything that modern medical science has to offer, why not try a little hocus pocus? To my surprise, the mind can overcome some daunting hurdles when properly channeled. I wrote this a month ago and like anybody (brain injured or knee injured or emotionally injured) I have lost my train of thought…more on my actual hypnosis is forthcoming, stay tuned!
Miclog #6 (“conception”): I am throwing out the name “Microg” because ‘blog’ is not fairly represented. Therefore, the ‘r’ is to be dropped in favor of an ‘l’, bringing it closer to the word ‘blog’. As a promoter of equal rights, the change makes me happy; I like to be happy : ) With that, I give you the first “Miclog”, Micro-blog #6 –
It seems that hypnosis works, at least for a little while; until my brain realizes it’s been hoodwinked, at which point the “CRAM” will again be dominated by my occupational therapist asking me, ”why aren’t you using your left hand?” I am by no means back to a point where I can puppeteer (as many of you know,I LOVE puppeteering, if you didn’t know that we’re not friends anymore, shame on you!), my left arm now acts more of its own accord, still clumsy and slow, but now my mind has more energy to devote to the important things, such as – birth certificate issues concerning our president and the royal wedding.
Miclog #7 (” No Country for Big Needles”): At this moment (5:25pm, Wednesday the 8th of June) – if you read it later, I’ll probably be getting Q a “happy juice”
or swinging her in the backyard – I am sitting up in a hospital bed at Zale Lipshy in Dallas. A little after the noon o’clock hour, a doctor jabbed me in the spine with two needles(!), the first to numb the area, and the second to pump in that sweet muscle relaxer known as baclofen. Other than fulfilling a lifelong desire to get not one, but two shots in my spine, the goal was to see how my left leg would react to a direct shot of baclofen. This ” baclofen trial” as it is called, was deemed a success in so far as it significantly reduced my tremors and improved my gait (no more circumduction or hyperextension, but I drag my foot). All this means I am eligible for pump surgery where they surgically implant a chair on my back where a doctor injects baclofen into my spine every 4-6 hours…I asked the doctor how I’m supposed to sleep, he shrugged and said, “not my problem.” and now…page 2.
Although you won’t have to wait to read this, I must wait to write more owing to the need to potty, you’ll never know I’m gone. I’m back, which is evident by the fact that you are reading…I don’t know that I have anything else of substance…go Mavs and keep fighting the good fight, Lynn! Ciao.