Tuesday, September 30, 2008

that's dope yo

This is how 2 percoset make me feel. Ive texted like 19 people, and I have an irresistible urge to buy DVDs from half.com.

Here's my wrist at 6:15am (after searching frantically for my license and credit cards that I eventually found in the garbage).

And here I am all chopped up with nothing to do but eat peanut butter crackers, drink water through a straw, and listen to old episodes of This American Life.

Pictures care of charrow

Monday, September 29, 2008

the duc procedure

Today is the day a man named Duc will make an incision in my left arm and saw through my ulnar bone.

Was that dramatic enough?

After talking about this surgery with family members ad nauseam, I've developed a theory that makes it slightly more palatable: this situation is not really any different than having a compound fracture that requires surgery. My procedure ("ulnar shortening") is actually better than a compound fracture because there's no messy shattering or bone piercing my skin. At least that's what I'm telling myself (and my grandmother).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

waving from the chopping block

For those of you unfamiliar with motorcycle protocol, there's a wave system used to greet fellow riders. You may have witnessed this dropping of the left arm, palm faced forward with the thumb and first 2 fingers splayed out, and thought to yourself, "Is that biker dude stretching his arm? Wait, is that one stretching too?? Do all bikers stretch and count to three when they pass another motorcycle?" I used to think it was like the boat wave, where anybody zipping along the water would give a friendly flail of the hand, but I've since learned that there are degrees of motorcycle wave coolness.

Under no circumstances are you supposed to wave at scooters or mopeds. Please don't tell your biker friends that I returned the wave of a scooter yesterday. It could ruin my fledgling reputation. And by fledgling I mean zygotic.

I don't see why we're supposed to snub scooters and other lowly 2-stroke vehicles. Sure, their equipment is inferior (says the owner of a japanese bike), but they're putting their lives on the line just as much as I am. They're enjoying the breeze too, albeit to the soundtrack of a weedwacker, but still, they're out there. So I've decided that I won't give them an imposter harley wave, but I will probably still lift a finger or two as a show of covert camaraderie.

Thus far the gesture has not been returned (it doesn't appear that scooter riders have a wave protocol), and I'm afraid my attempt to bridge the waving gap is coming to a long pause. I finally received a diagnosis for the chronic wrist pain that I've been experiencing for many (many) months. The fancy name is ulnar impaction syndrome. In layman's terms, my ulnar bones (the ones that make up the knobby parts of your wrists) are too long, which is impinging on other parts of my wrist and hand (tendons, cartilage, nerves, all possible sources of pain, etc).

The solution? Make it shorter! In other words, cut out a portion of the bone, attach a plate with 6-7 screws and wait for it to fuse back together. After much hemming and hawing (mostly hawing like a recalcitrant mule), I've decided to get the first wrist done next week. That's right, I said "first wrist" because it turns out both of them are structural rejects. I won't get into the number of doctors that have missed this tidbit of information that's plainly obvious on a regular x-ray.

So, the only motorcycle wave I'll be doing for awhile will be from the discomfort of my apartment. Stay tuned for gory pictures and what I hope will be a continuous stream of short posts.

The motorcycle pictured today is most definitely not mine. I saw this beefy custom job off of Melrose Place in Los Angeles.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

just a taste

I feed her and still, she covets my salmon.

canine cavorting

This weekend has been overrun with 4-legged romping. First it was an evening walk and a pizza picnic with Dixie. Then we went hiking in the East Palisades park where the dogs took over the beach area near the main trailhead. And now I'm being screeched at by a very unhappy cat that does not understand why I bother with such frivolities as posting when I could be feeding her. Please excuse me while I take care of that before she gnaws my elbow off.

In review:

Monday, September 8, 2008

a tasty brunch for all

This is the kind of spider that nightmares are made of. There were not one, but three, such spiders at our brunch date on the homestead yesterday morning (don't worry dear neighbor, it was far, far away from our dusty building).

We ate breakfast on the other side of the screened in porch from the venom trifecta. Jo tried to convince me that they were completely harmless, but really, when they're that large, boldly marked (poison!), and have a web that's at least 2 feet tall, it doesn't matter how many factoids you throw at me.

The other brunch-goers decided to lure an insect into the web of the largest spider (pictured everywhere in this post) while I went to the bathroom. I opened the porch door to find Jo standing in the yard holding a glass and waving a piece of cardboard around. There was cheering (by all but me) when she succeeded in whisking a honeybee into the web. The spider immediately swooped over and wrapped the bee in a thick husk of silk and returned to its perch in the middle of the web.

The peanut gallery was sufficiently repulsed, but they were sad that the show ended so quickly. What about the blood sucking?? We didn't have to wait very long before the she-dracula retrieved its victim and took it back to the middle of the net for a nice long drink (larger version here).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

eat 2 cupcakes and call me in the morning

I went to see my orthopedist, Dr. Payne, this morning (the irony just flew up your nose didn't it) because the wrist pain I've experienced for many months has been more intense than usual. My stance on doctor's visits for pain that I consider chronic is to just avoid them at all cost. Do I really need to pay $30 to have someone tell me to rest and wait it out? No thanks. I'd rather spend that money on other priorities:

But I felt like I should at least warrant all of my complaining that the Sauce has been putting up with by getting checked out. I ask you, why (why) does a doctor specializing in hand pain think that I want to shake his hand when he walks into the exam room? If I felt like walking around shaking people's hands (i.e. using my gripping muscles), I probably wouldn't be in his office.

Now there are two words that I'm never especially eager to hear from an orthopedist: PHYSICAL THERAPY. I've spent countless hours in physical therapy for one reason or another. What all those hours (and dollars) taught me is that my body is naturally immune to physical therapy. I've even gone into physical therapy for one injury (ITB syndrome) and come out with another (generalized inner knee pain that turned out to be infected tissue). I've cried in physical therapy. I've been burnt by the analgesic they put on a certain kind of E-Stem pad. I've put my hand into a machine that whirls around corn husk (which was pretty damn nice).

What it boils down to is I view physical therapy as a purgatory for my injuries, and I don't mean that in the positive "soul purification before running off to heaven" sense. I'm referring to the more modern definition of "suffering short of everlasting damnation." But I have to give it a chance because it was basically all that blue-eyed Dr. Payne had to offer besides his handshake.

I'm also going to see an acupuncturist and potentially a rheumatologist, but it could take months to get that kind of appointment. For now, I'm hoping a little Eastern medicine will do me some good. It's been too long since I meditated about cupcakes for an hour with needles dotting my limbs.

In an attempt to reduce computer time to a bare minimum, I may strip down to a photoblog style. We'll see if I can resist the urge to purge (blog vomit is so much easier to clean up than cat puke).