Yad Sdrawkcab and The “Science” of Numoronology

Numeronology Logo with Border
This magic science employs elements of algebra, geometry, voodoo, music, lighting & poultry

A few weeks ago, everything got turned around on me. Literally. On Saturday, October 12th, a day that will live in ymafni, almost every piece of clothing I ventured to dawn came out backwards.

Let’s break this down so it kinda seems scientifical. Backwards day was October 12, 2013. My surgery was the third day of September, in that foul year of our Lord, 2009.

According to this website, 1501 days elapsed between those dates. Significance? 15+0+1=16. The 16th letter of our alphabet is ‘p’.  ‘P’ rhymes with, and is the first letter of ‘pee’ – which is what I must do now…

I’m back, moving on – ‘p’ is also the first letter of the word ‘polar’. In this case, polar has a dual meaning. On the one hand, it’s getting cold outside. We often use said word to denote extreme cold. On the other hand, polar is often placed in front of opposite to suggest something is out of order.

This brings us back to my clothes inversion excursion (exversion?). Anyway, the details are thus –

1# ecnatsnI – As per my usual Friday routine, I put gym shorts on under my pants. At some point that I don’t recall, I decided to put the shorts on both backwards AND inside out.

2# ecnatsnI  – I changed clothes after working out. Did I put the shirt on backwards? Yeppers. Did I fix the shirt to walk my dog? No.

3# ecnatsnI – I took the shirt mentioned in 2# ecnatsnI off after walking said dog and, being so unadorned, I deemed it uncouth to greet the visitor so gently rapping on my chamber door. Away to my dresser I flew like a turtle and grabbed a shirt. I carefully inspected the inside of the collar for the tag, swearing that, henceforth, I shall put my clothes on correctly.

Despite my oath, the damn shirt ended up going on backwards – I blame Fruit of the Loom (this blog brought to you by Hanes “You can’t put our shirts on backwards, we won’t explain how this is possible, you just can’t.”).

Continuing with our / numerilogical/historical/chronological(I will call this new “science” numoronology – notice the five letters after ‘nu’), the square root of 16 (being the sum of 15+0+1) is four. I took the square root because only “squares” where their clothes backwards.

Four is significant because that is the number of botox injections I got in my foot for the last treatment.

I’ve tried with little success to describe the pain that comes from injections in the foot – I’ll give it another shot. To experience this very unpleasant…uhh…experience follow this four step process –

1. Get a long, sharp object (i.e. a needle)

2. Take off your shoe

3. Take off your sock

4. Take the needle from step one and impale the bottom of your exposed for with it four f*cking times!

Please forgive my lack of creativity with that description. You see, I can think of no feeling, painful or otherwise, that compares to a needle stick (nay, four needle sticks) in the bottom of the foot.

However, the pain is worth it after the botox starts to work its magic on my toe flexors.

Listen, after my hemorrhage/surgery, some wires done got crossed and now my toes think my brain wants them to curl all the time.

My brain my or may not be sending a signal to curl so vigorously, but my toes are hearing “CURL, DAMMIT! CURL UNTIL YOUR TOES POINT BACKWARDS!”

Ok, let’s recap. I started by mentioning yad sdrawkcab (backwards day) and finished with curling toes. numoronology is a truly dizzying, convoluted science.



Oh yeah, in observance of NaNoWriMo, I don’t plan to blog for the month of November – toodles!

SiLiMes #15 – Birdese

I send messages to reading teachers to inform them that one of their students has a book on hold. I started writing these clever poems & vignettes. * = a student’s name –

A little bird flew into the library today and said, “KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW!” Luckily, I speak bird, so I’ll translate.  She said “* has a book on hold, he has until MONDAY 10/03 to pick it up, or it will ‘KAW!’ to the next ‘KAW!’”…couldn’t quite understand that last part, but you get the idea.

Medical Vernacular Spectacular!

Part of having a condition like mine is learning a lot of big words. I like big words and I like to write silly poems – seems reasonable to assume that I would double like a poem about big words. I haven’t written the poem yet, but I’m sure I’ll like like it. To that end, I’ll quit introducing and start writing the poem you’re about to read. One last note – I’m going to stick to a simple AABBCC rhyme scheme – Shakespeare I amn’t. I’m going to italicize the terms to set them apart.

The medical field uses words that are big and complex,

For instance, raising you for at the able is called dorsiflex(ion) :).

The above word is one of the many that end with I-O-N,

Proprioception is a word that I use often;

It’s a big word for knowing where your limbs are in space.

Circumduction is another I-O-N, it affects walking pace.

When the knee doesn’t want to bend, the leg swings;

If I’m not careful, I’ll start to kick things.

Yet another I-O-N is ambulation;

Or you could say “walking”, if you value concision

Walking is made more difficult by the symptoms of spasticity.

Incontinence is when you have trouble going pee-pee,

“Pee-pee” is a silly word for releasing fluid that is pent.

The fancy term for pooping is “bowel movement”.

There is also a tube for moving pee-pee and other fluids hither and thither,

The fancy word for this tube is catheter.

There’s an intrathecal catheter delivering medicine to my spine ,

The catheter carries medicine from a baclofen pump to help me feel fine.

At first, the needle caused my spine to leak,

But thanks to a blood patch twas fixed in about a week.

To get the blood for the blood patch, the nurses set a Mid line,

The needle went so deep into my arm, I felt like dying.

Medtronic is the company that makes my pump.

Ataxia, or loss of balance, makes it difficult to jump.

Seeing two of something is called double vision or diplopia.

Seeing two of something is called double vision or diplopia.

Dysphagia is one of the fanciest medical terms I know,

It’s easier just to say “it’s hard to swallow”.

Let’s not forget the word for constant muscle contraction,

Hypertonicity is the word given to this action

I owe this list of words to the Pons region of the brainstem,

Without having a major hemorrhage there. I wouldn’t have learned them

This concludes the list

Did you get the gist?

I know I left some off, but I’m happy with this list, short as it may be. I think I explained the meaning of the words pretty well, but here’s a list with definitions just in case –

Dorsiflexion: This is when a door opens – I jest. Quite simply, it’s bending your ankle so that your foot/toes goes up

Proprioception: Obviously this describes a professional at “priocepting”, and as we all know (right?), prioception is the ability to perceive of a Toyota Prius. Actually, it’s your perception of the relative position of some body part.

Circumduction: The Romans came up with this one. Circ is Latin for “Pringles” (they’ve been around for a while). Um is Latin (and every other language ever for “WTF?”). Duction translates to “talking with one’s mouth full”. In essence, when in Rome, it’s not cool to talk with a mouth full of Pringles. Truthfully, it’s when the leg swings outward because the knee won’t bend enough to clear the ground.

Ambulation: Walking

Spasticity: Tremors caused by constant muscle activity

Incontinence: When you’re not on a continent. Examples – swimming in the ocean, flying on a plane or exploring outer space. A less awesome and more truer answer is when you can’t pee

Bowel movement: Pooping (heh, poop)

Catheter: This one was adequately covered above – it’s just a tube

Baclofen pump: A hockey puck shaped machine that delivers sweet, sweet baclofen (muscle relaxer) to the spine

Blood patch: The use of blood to patch a leak in the spine. I asked them if they could just use tape. They laughed derisively and said we could, but then we won’t get to set a…

…Mid line; thereby IMPALING my right bicep to harvest blood from a deep vein

Medtronic: A science fictiony name for a company that makes baclofen pumps

Ataxia: The IRS’s answer to whether or not there’s a tax for some object. E.g. “Is there a tax for asking stupid questions?” IRS reply: “A tax, yeah.” That, or loss of balance.

Diplopia: This one means double vision, I don’t get it. When I think of the word “plop” I think of poop splashing into the toilet.

Dysphagia: Saying disparaging remarks to some named “Phagia” – she(?) will punch you in the throat and make it difficult to swallow.

Hypertonicity: Similar to “spasticity” – constant muscle contractions.

Pons: Latin for bridge due to its position between the cerebellum and the cerebrum on the brainstem (that sounded pretty scientifical, eh?)

Hemorrhage: Internal bleeding, which, when paired with the term above, can create everything above that. Basically, it’s at the bottom of everything (symbolic, no?)



SiLiMes #13 – The Aching Bookcase

As always, *= a student’s name

If you could send * to pick up his reserved book, that would be great. You see, I’m holding up far too many books and my shelf is about to break (I’ve had that shelf since it was a baby, I don’t know how much “shelf life” it has left…ha ha, library humor). The hold will last until FRIDAY 12/2, but he may certainly come earlier.

A bookcase

SiLiMes #12 – “HOLDysburg Address”

I don’t care to go back and look right now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this before. However, this is MY blog and I (imagine that I yelled that, it’s already capped) want to post it again NOW!

Oh yeah, SiLiMes = Silly Library Message.

Again, *= A student’s name.

Four score and seven years ago (or thereabouts), * put a hold on a book in the *School Name* Library.
Now it is my esteemed pleasure to inform you that that book, so conceived and so dedicated, is ready to be checked out. We are met on a great landscape called the Internet. We have come to the portion of this message where I tell you that s/he has until TUESDAY 10/25 to pick up this volume. It is altogether fitting and proper that I should do this.

SiLiMes #11 – “HOLD of the Rising Sun”

Here’s another silly message I sent to the reading teachers when one of their students has book ready that had been reserved. Again, *= A student’s name.

There is a Library in Sherman,TX
They call the *school name* Library
And it’s reserved books for many a student
And Gosh, * & * are some

My mother is a bureaucrat
She is very particular about dates
She insists the book get picked up by WEDNESDAY 11/02
And be sure they bring money to pay late rates

“The Wilds of a Brain Injurah-d Routine” Episode One

I’m not sure what I was thinking on the last three posts. I guess I wanted to spread my writing wings.

Fact is, this blog started as a means to inform those close to me on my condition. I’ve since used it to share my experiences of life after brain surgery.

Recently, I’ve gotten comments about how insightful and informative some of my posts are.

That being the case, I need to get back to my roots – I like the idea that someone can benefit from my experiences.

With this post, I’m getting back to basics. I’ve mentioned before that you (yes, you there with the pants) should be your own advocate. That is, if you are facing adversity, do your homework to make your life easier. Therefore, I’m going to lay out the adaptations of the Jarrett in the form of a nature show.

Thing is, the nature shows that I remember (the good ones, anyway) were narrated by Australians, so this blog will be written with an Australian inflection. If you’d like me to clarify anything from this, leave a comment. Here goes. Before I start, I would like to announce that I’m cutting back to a post every two weeks. I plan on focusing more effort on writing a book and illustrating my “Terds”. No, I’m not going to draw pictures of my poop; I’m talking about this silly words that I come up with and tweet; I’ve put a few examples at the bottom of this post. I reserve the right to throw a post out there when the urge hits me; but as far as regular posts, I’m cutting back to one every two weeks. Moving on –

Let’s watch as the majeestic Jarretto Awesomicus goes through hees morning reechal (ritual) –

Noteece that eet’s extremely urly. The Jarretto will wake up up to three hours before werk to make all the necesseery preparations. The Jarretto does thees for all commeetments – thees ees most lih-kely due to hees slow pace.

CRIKY! We’re getting a reh (rare) gleempse at one of the Jarretto’s morning exyersyah-zes (exercises) – the postyah (posture) and stability vogue. Een thees exyersyah-ze, the Jarretto flails his ahms about Een front of a mirrah to monitah and correct hees postyah.

What’s thees? He appeahs to be streetching hees amstrings. He does thees to loosen up the muscles een hees legs a beet (bit). You see, the spasteecity (spasticity) een hees legs makes hees muscles veery tih-ght. He ees done streetching and has moved on to his balance and weight beering (baring) exyersyah-ze. During thees exersyah-ze, the Jarretto balances on his left leg for at least 30 seconds and weel often try for up to a meenit (minute)

Now we see the Jarretto putting a Swedeesh knee cage (knee brace) on hees left leg. You see, the Jarretto’s brain doesn’t tell his left amstring to fie-ah (fire) when he straightens hees leg, causing heem to hyperexteend hees knee. Eef he deedn’t have thees brace, hees knee wood sirtinly break Een ‘af.

Ee’s of now to feeneesh getting ready for woork. But that wraps it up for us. We hope you’ve enjoyed thees edeetion of “The Wilds of a Brain Injurah-d Routine”. G’day, mates!

When purchasing laundry products, do not make the mistake of writing down "laundry detergent" on your list. Be very very specific about the brand name, etc.
When purchasing laundry products, do not make the mistake of writing down “laundry detergent” on your list. Be very very specific about the brand name, etc.
This would go well on the Wii's opening screen about the risk of seizures.
This would go well on the Wii’s opening screen about the risk of seizures.



Did You Really Think That Was It?

…Moving on, recall from my last entry about the second part of my first entry, which had six entries on the first of July, being the seventh month of the year 2009…uhh…backfire – in my cute attempt to confuse I confused myself…I ran into a doorway at the Target and went back to a hospital (not because of the doorway).

During my stay at the rehab hospital, I’d make frequent trips to Dallas to see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Jonathan White, when I say his name or picture him in my head I hear the angels singing; this man is a god as far as I’m concerned. Here are the particulars –

The Doctor Visit
On June 30th, Jessica, My parents and I met with Dr. White, a neurosurgeon, at UT Southwestern. I also got an MRI. The doctor (and the scans) suggested I wait a while longer as there is still too much blood in my head. BUT, surgery is possible given the current location. I will go back in two months and do the same thing and hopefully the blood will have absorbed (enough to operate anyway). The surgery itself is risky and will likely send me back to rehab (if not worse). The tradeoff is a lifetime without fear of this recurring with some permanent damage or the possibility of recurrence and the fear that that possibility brings. I am opting for the former (surgery).

Dr. White looked at the pictures born out of the loud noises shot through my skull and reckoned we wait until the bleed site becomes not so bloody. I was a bit upset about this, I was ready to have that thing out of my noodle. If I may borrow the tone from the JG Wentworth (this blog sponsored by lump sums for structured settlement payments) commercials – IT’S MY CAVERNOMA AND I WANT IT OUT! I do worry about it growing back, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry that it’s gonna erupt again. I sometimes think how it might be if I hadn’t had the surgery, then I think about not walking and paralysis and that thought quickly goes away. For those of you contemplating surgery, many will say “it’s a very personal decision.” To me, that part is implied, my advice is this – if your doctor is confident he/she can cut it out with a minimum of residual damage and you trust in this doctor after having done your research on him/her – cut that sucker out of there; don’t wait for it to bleed again. What’s next?

Location, Location, Location
 My cavernoma is located in the Pons region, located on the brainstem which controls (from what I understand) –

– Autonomic function (breathing, heart rate…stuff that just happens automatically *gulp*)
– Sleep (This I know)
– Messages between the cerebrum and cerebellum
– Hearing
– Fine motor skill (This I know)

There are more, but these seem to be the most prominent. Again, this info. is from my limited understanding.

I’ve written about the Pons more thoroughly HERE. For the most part, the functions listed above are accurate. I’m starting to suspect that most of the issues I’ve experienced and continue to deal with have more to do with the bridge function of the Pons rather than the functions it controls. Here’s a better explanation: let’s say the the Pons is a silly doorman at your apartment named…Pons (I couldn’t think of anything else), the apartment building is the cerebellum, the area outside the door is the cerebral cortex, and you are a message. Pons is a pretty eccentric dude, he wears sunglasses all day, and once tried to give a swirlie (swirly?) to a solicitor. You’re not concerned with his personality, you just want him to open the door. One day, he decides he doesn’t want to open the door anymore. Now you have trouble getting from the building (cerebellum) to the outside (cerebral cortex). What’s more, Pons has no direct control over your balance, but he can put a trip wire across the doorway, much like…

TBI is…Tempest Blows Indoors. I tweeted this one earlier in the week, but I’d like to give it more explanation. Here is the original explanation – For no reason, I’ll flail my arms about to regain my balance after thinking about tacos or something. You see, I often have to think about walking the way most people would think about math. That is, I have to think pretty hard about the terrain, wind, fatigue, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, there are shiny things everywhere. If/when I get distracted I can lose my balance pretty easily. Luckily, I still have a pretty good reflex to keep me upright. This comes out to – Jarrett is walking down an aisle at the store, Jarrett spots a fancy, yet useless gadget in the “As Seen On TV” display, Jarrett loses his balance, it looks like Jarrett is swimming through the air as he tries to regain equilibrium.


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