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Sunday, January 1, 2006
(4:22 pm)

Happy New Year!

My 2006 isn't going so well. Thursday I spent the entire day in the Emergency Room of General Division of Charleston Area Medical Center. I'd spent a lot of the previous two nights bleeding all over the sheets and mattress on our bed. I have a tumor in my mouth, extending into my sinuses. The DDS/MD guy sliced off a chunk for a biopsy. I'll know exactly what I have to deal with sometime this week. Great way to start a year!

Still no word on a check for my settlement with the insurance company over my accident that ruined my ankle (and arguably my life). I'm hoping for a healthy majority of the settlement and a diagnosis of benign and easy to treat tumor. I want to get on with the treatment of my leg now, but I'm sure the other problem will take precedence. Then there's the matter of my vision. I really need new glasses. I have an ophthalmologist's appointment in February. . . if I last that long.

I was planning on spending part of my settlement cash on a Canon 20D outfit and a new acoustic 6-string guitar. I'll have to put those on the back burner until I find out what's going on with my physical condition. Damn! I must have been in that bunker in Berlin in my last lifetime. . .

I've been futzing around with prismacolor and similar pencils lately. Nothing substantial to report. I can't scan anything right now anyway. I have my friend Bev's scanner hooked up on my machine so I can scan negatives and I've not felt well enough to finish reviewing and sorting my pile of negatives so I can give her scanner back and hook my own back up to do flats. Soon.

Here's an interesting thing. On Thanksgiving I took some photos of people at Sean's girlfriend's house. Trish's sister is a gorgeous young girl (18) -- Trish is pretty stunning herself, actually. Anyway, Licia agreed to let me take some shots of her eyes and lips as well as her whole lovely head (we all think she's ringer for Drew Barrymore). There wasn't enough light for the autofocus on my camera to work, so every shot I tried to take was out of focus (another reason I want a camera that I can manally focus!). This shot, is nice, I think, fuzzy or not. The interesting part is below the large photo. Shrunk down to 1/4 the resolution, it looks perfectly in focus. I still wish it had turned out like I'd planned. I'll have to track Licia down sometime when the sun if shining, if it ever does again.

Digital Camera Image [2005_1124Image0016]
"Licia's Luscious Lips"
Digital Camera Image [2005_1124Image0016]
"Part Deux"

Monday, January 2, 2006
(5:10 pm)

I thought of at least fourteen things to write about today, but in lieu of those, and in honor of the BCS Sugar Bowl this evening, I'd like to just put a curse on the University of Georgia football team and say:

Go Mountaineers!

Thursday, January 5, 2006
(4:21 pm)

Well, my team won the Sugar Bowl! They are now ranked number five in the country in the AP Poll, behind Texas, USC, Penn State, and Ohio State. In all honesty, with an 11-1 record compared to Ohio State's 10-2, I think they should be ranked fourth. But then, TCU only had one loss as well. There are only four one-loss teams in the country, WVU, TCU, Penn State, and USC. Pretty good company to be in.

I go into the hospital for surgery on Monday. I have a benign locally agressive tumor that started, most likely, in the bone around my sinus just above the jaw. It's eaten away some of the bone and surrounding tissue. I'll have a sinus packed full of gauze for a couple weeks. Lovely.

I'm still waiting to hear about my settlement check. I'm starting to get a little miffed about it. After I have this surgery for the tumor I'll have to get some prosthetic dentistry done, probably mostly at my own expense. Lovely. I'll never get an inch ahead unless something knocks me back a foot.


Sunday, January 8, 2006
(2:49 pm)

This will be my last entry here for a few days. I go into the hospital in the morning to have my tumor removed. I don't know how long I'll be there or how long it will be until I feel like writing again. Wish me well. Several people already have.

Quote of the Day: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."
-- Aldous Huxley

I made up a checklist of things to take to the hospital and things to do to be ready so I won't forget things. I'll probably forget the checklist. One thing that's vital -- skin creams. My skins, especially hands and feet have gotten so dry.

In order to remove the tumor from my sinuses and palette, they'e going to cut up the center of my upper lip and around the nose so they can fold back the skin to have access to the affected area. To facilitate this procedure, I started shaving my moustache after my doctor's visit on Thursday. This is the first time my upper lip has been exposed to sunlight and razor blades since the early 70's. The razor burn was horrendous. I also shaved a bit of the area below my lower lip. I look like someone doing a C. Everett Koop impression.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006
(3:00 pm)

I'm baaaack. A little worse for the wear and not feeling or looking too good, but hopefully It'll get better in short-term. More when I feel better.

I STILL haven't gotten a settlement check!


Thursday, January 12, 2006
(11:36 pm)

I finally got my settlement check, but it won't be any good until Tuesday. I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday as well to have my stitches removed and for evaluation. I suppose more surgery is in the offing in the near future as well. My ankle/leg has been doing better since I've been off my stems for several days. To be quite honest I feel pretty good considering I feel like shit.

Quote of the Day: "Wealth is affliction disguised as a good."
-- Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakuda

I actually worked both of the crossword puzzles in the paper today, and had a shower. I've not felt like reading much though. It's hard for me to concentrate on keeping my place. I suppose part of it's the pain pills, part the pain itself. My lips are so dry, and my mouth goes from being arid to juicy. I'm able to eat things like blended oatmeal, pudding. liquid soups, mango sauce, szechuan beef soup with the tofu and onions strained out. Ice cream is good. I'm hoping I'm not on a complete liquid diet for too long. As you probably can figure, you eat pudding, you shit pudding. . .


Saturday, January 14, 2006
(11:29 pm)

Still healing. Little bits of things dropping off of me. My whole lower lip has peeled. I found most of it on my pillow this morning. Another bit of my upper lip, possibly with a piece of a suture was in my mouth when I woke up this afternoon after a short nap. I've been up all evening. I took a Percocet at ten this evening and it's not doing much good. I refuse to take another. I've been limiting myself to two a day and I've already had two today. Maybe I'll feel better once I lie back down and take it easy.

Margaret is supposed to stop by in a short while. She was going to buy me a powerball ticket. I didn't manage to get out to get one. I think either tomorrow or Monday I'll feel like moving around to the extent that I can get out of the house and drive for short distances. I just wish my "Eye of Horus" would go away.

Digital Camera Image (cropped) [2006_0114Image0001]
"Eye of Horus"

I'm just trying to figure out who slugged me while I anesthesized. . . and why. Hey, I've got a bruise on my left hand knuckles, so I guess I fought back. . .


Monday, January 23, 2006
(12:23 pm)

No, I'm not dead yet.

I've been in bed a lot. Still in a good deal of pain. It's moved though. Instead of being at the site of the recision, it's in my jaw joint and the site of the screws holding things together. At one point one of the screws was poking or rubbing and I had a little bleeding. I'm on antibiotics and antifungals until Thursday. I go back in for my next followup next Tuesday. Still sucking supper through a straw. Dinner and breakfast as well. It's not as hard as I thought it would be, this liquid diet thing. Still it's not something I'd care to carry on with a moment more than is absolutely necessary. I lost about 12 pounds in the first week after surgery. I think I gained a pound the second week. I'll have to watch how much I suck.

Quote of the Day: "It takes a long time to grow young. "
-- Pablo Picasso

I ordered my new camera Friday. I hope the order went through in the shape I wanted it. I guess I'll find out tomorrow or the next day. Saturday I went shopping. I bought the new Ibanez guitar I wanted:

Ibanez MASA Commemorative

I think it's a beautiful instrument. It doesn't play quite as well as I'd like, but it does sound good as an acoustic and sounds wonderful amplified. Overall I'm quite pleased with it.

I also bought a laptop computer, a couple of daylight lamps, a 1 GB flash drive, and some odds and ends. I could have gone completely hog wild, but I didn't. Ann got that "Civilization III"game pack she's been wanting for about a year now. I'll sneak out sometime later this week and see if I can find "Civilization IV" for her. We looked at Target last night, but it wasn't there. All-in-all Saturday and yesterday, I spent about as much time out and about shopping as I would have on 3/4 of a day normally in the consumer arena, and feel like I spent 12 hours a day for a week. I'm beat today. I'll probably spend a lot of time napping and reading and maybe working a crossword or two.

The laptop I got is a pretty capable machine, but it's not what I originally went in search of. I wanted to get one of those Gateway 2000 Convertibles. Of the three stores close by that sell Gateway, not a single store had one. All three stores had the same two machines and that was it. Retail has slid into a miasma of only carrying what will sell most. It doesn't matter that not everyone is reducable to the least common denominator. Not to these predatory big box merchants. I hate the way the world has become.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006
(10:26 am)

Last night sometime some low-life smashed the driver's side window of my van and rifled through the glove box and the box under the back seat where I keep fluids for the car. Nothing was missing, just a smashed window. Bastard! We don't have comprehensive insurance on the car, so this is an out-of-pocket expense. Damn.

Quote of the Day: " When the heart is narrow, the tongue is wide."
-- Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Mibhar HaPeninim

I'm still not feeling very well. I still take pain medication at least once a day. I'm on antibiotics and antifungal medication until at least this evening. I think the two mouth rinses will last the week. I hope I do!

It's snowing again this morning. It finally looks and feels like winter. I'm personally ready for spring.


Saturday, January 28, 2006
(1:57 pm)

The kind of pain I hate most is mouth pain. So, of course, that's the kind I have to deal with. I think a lot of the pain I have right now is from not being able to relax my jaw. If I let it slip into its normal resting position, the temporary prosthetic presses against the gum where my wisdom tooth never erupted. If I try to shift to another relaxed position, I discover, to my dismay, there is none. I go back to the doctor Tuesday. Maybe I can get some relief then, somehow.

Quote of the Day: "Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ann's working on replacing the car window that got broken the other night. I was helping until I got dizzy and had to come inside and sit down. I haven't weighed myself since Monday, but I feel like I've lost a pound or two. I probably would lose more if I got up and about more than I do, but my ankle is hurting real bad these days too. It's like one huge pain at a time isn't enough. I need to have surgery on my ankle, but it's been pushed into the background until I get my face taken care of. Lovely.

(11:39 pm)

Between Ann, me, Sean, and Ann's brother, the window in the van got replaced. I got my daily dose of tomato soup and had a pain pill about an hour ago. I was kind of hoping it would be a nice day tomorrow so I could go somewhere and take a few photographs, but the forecast says rain starting at three in the morning and not relenting until sundown. Kind of hard to spot things to take photos of in the dark. . .

Maybe sometime later in the week. I'm dying to get out and take pictures and just be somewhere other than here. And I don't mean at a doctor's office or the hospital.


Monday, January 30, 2006
(1:32 pm)

Well, the weather was fairly wonderful yesterday other than a lot of wind. Still, I spent most of the day in bed and nearly all of it inside. I just didn't feel well enough to be out and about. A while ago, while talking to my neighbor from across the street, the temporary prosthetic denture I have had in since my surgery decided it was time to come out. I called the doctor and since I'm having it out tomorrow anyway, he said just keep it clean and we'd deal with it tomorrow. I took the screws out since they were now poking into tender flesh, and put the thing back in. I'd tried to talk to Charlie without it and it sounded to me like Daffy Duck on novacaine. Probably best to leave it, or at least try to.

Quote of the Day: "When you get a thing the way you want it, leave it alone."
-- Winston Churchill

I'm still waiting to get something -- anything -- the way I want it.

Digital Camera Image (Canon EOS 20D) [2006_0127Image0002]
"Last of the Bathroom Window Series"

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