Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Midsummer? Yes. Puck? Yes. Oberon? Yes. Shakespeare? No.

I came across this picture from the following link yesterday while trying to get my fill of offseason hockey information. Supposedly this may be a third jersey that the Carolina Hurricanes will wear beginning this season. I'm pretty pumped; I love black jerseys (my Team Canada Kris Draper jeresy in black is one of my favorites). Personally I would have liked to see some tie-ups in the front to give it more of a classic look, but what are you going to do?

Supposedly the NHL is going to announce that the Red Wings and the Blackhawks will be playing a Winter Classic (like the one on New Years last year between Buffalo and the Penguins) in Wrigley Field the first day of the new year. How cool is THAT? It had been rumored early that they were going to play in Yankee Stadium but I think choosing Wrigley is a much better idea. I'm not a Yankee's fan by any means (far from i; I pretty much despise them more than any other sports team, even the Predators), but I think it's much more honorable to have the last game played there be a baseball game and not a hockey game...

Monday, July 14, 2008

"If my face violently contorts and my head snaps to the side, don't worry... it's just my stomach medicine."

Had an appt with my gastro doc, who's a pretty impressive dude. He's helped nail down and guide me through a variety of gastro-ills that I've dealt with the greater part of my adult life. Today was essentially a follow-up. An issue that I've been dealing with that bothers me from time-to-time is nighttime regurgitation, especially after being a moron and eating late at night. Lindsay and I have done about all we can... well, let me put it a different way... LINDSAY has done about all SHE can to help remedy the situation (raising the head of the bed up, suggesting that I eat less at night; you know, all good wife stuff). I, being a moron, like to snack late. And I often pay for it. Of course having your esophageal valve essentially eroded away from years of torrid reflux due to a shortened torso from spinal fusion surgery (Thanks, Doc!! You're a GEM!!) can complicate matters, too.

Anyway, I tried a couple of things and they seem to be working (eating my bigger meal at lunch, eating smaller meals) but it's still not exactly cured yet. One thing we're discussing is a nissan fundoplication in which a "new" valve is essentially created by wrapping the stomach around the esophagus or wrapping the esophagus around the stomach (or is it something wrapped around them both?). It could be a very simple procedure, even done laparoscopically... or it might require more intensive surgery. I'm going to do a preliminary barium swallow this Friday, and hopefully see a surgeon for consult before I head back to work in August. I don't imagine that I'd do the surgery until next year, anyway.

But here's the kicker... and where the title of this entry fits in. My doctor begins telling me about this older medication that essentially helps to empty the stomach at a much more rapid pace. Sounds awesome, right? A quick fix for a lazy guy like me!! Then he tells me about some of the complications that might arise from the medicine. The usual stuff (upset stomach, nausea, blah blah blah). Then he starts rattling off some of the more "rare" side effects. Facial tics. Hand and lip tremors. Eye twitching. Huh... doesn't sound so fun now. Then he starts getting into the more "serious but more rare" side effects. Involuntary facial contortions... some of which may become a permanent problem (I'm guessing he meant the occurrence of having the contortions, although a permanent facial contortion might be fun at weddings and birthday parties for small children). He went on about a few more that I'm guessing my mind blanked out for my own well being, but the best one was something along the lines of having your head snap, from time to time, completely to the side in an involuntary gesture. Wow... how cool would THAT be at a family gathering? If nothing else, that'd be one way of getting door-to-door peddlers off my property. When he told me this, I immediately thought of Beetlejuice where his head comes off, spins around, and then he mutters "don't you hate it when that happens?"

Sadly,I figured that I have enough neurological issues as it is and passed on trying this medication. And they're worried about kids taking Oxycontin for a ride...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Running to Stand Still (Part One)

I've been a U2 fan for years and have always enjoyed the song that inspired the title of this posting. On recently has the full impact of what the song means (at least to me) been driven in my skull and my heart.

My wife, Lindsay, and I (along with our two awesome dogs, Aslan and Cheli) recently drove to Michigan to spend two full weeks visiting family and friends. It was a nice change of scenery for me and it was a chance for Lindsay to relax before she plunges full-on into the internship portion of her Fellowship. A trip home is (usually) a healthy thing... though I prefer to do it when the weather is more to my liking (warm with no white precipitation of any form). It has its moments, of course: taking up residence in your parents' den (a den that is essentially foreign to me... as I never actually "lived" in this house as a child) for two weeks will do that to you. God bless my folks and I love them dearly, but the older I get, the older I they get... and I see the changes in their demeanor, accordingly.

Anyway, It was a good time and a great chance to catch up with folks. Sadly we didn't get to make it to South Haven to see a sunset (something I used to love doing back in high school... my buddy Dave and I used to "chase the sunset" and I don't think that we were ever the loser in that contest). However, I'm sure that my stepbrother  and stepfather have more than made up the difference by using their artistic and amazing photographic skills to document that which I have missed. Rob does great stuff. Dad does too. The fact that I mention a trip to South Haven (or lack thereof) is because of what they used to mean to me and my friend. Or at least to me. I'm not sure how Dave reflects on them, if he does at all. Some deep pondering, questioning, philosophizing, and commiserating would often take place. Obviously, we were high school kids so much of our talk would center around girls, college, and whatever else 15-19-year-old guys talk about (Dave was a year older than me, so he had dibs on a license before me).

The way all this ties into the title that I have chosen is because for the first time I've really realized that I have spent so much of my life "running to stand still." There has ALWAYS been a "next" in my life that was on the horizon. I hesitate to say "goal" because I don't know if that term qualifies each of the situations in question, but it works for now. High school? Getting a girlfriend. Graduating from high school. Going to college. Graduating from college (whoops...). Getting a job. Getting married. Having kids. Buying a home... and blah blah blah. The funny thing is, that I really feel that in many ways that seeking "the next" often leaves you feeling sort of stagnant and unappreciative of "the now." And that's sort of how I feel about things in my life at the moment. While I haven't exactly obtained each of those goals (and no kids are on THIS horizon... I'll keep dogs, thank you very much), I most definitely feel sort of in a weird limbo. A void of sorts where I've ratcheted off a succession of chains in my life in the last year ("okay, make it to Spring Break, make it through my evaluation, make it THROUGH the end of the school year, enjoy a trip home, etc., etc) and I just feel sort of in a weird limbo...

And with that said, I'll take a break and LEAVE this in limbo until next time..