Monday, September 27, 2010

Blogging Thoughts

I've noticed lately that Pic Dump 14 has been getting a lot of hits.  I'm not sure how to use all those statistics provided by Google Analytics, or Bloggers new Stats feature either, or else maybe I could figure out why.  It's not that important, I guess.  If I knew why it was so popular though, I would try to do the same thing every time. 

I received more hits in the past month than any other since I've started this blog.  Of course, I attribute that to family and friends checking in because of my broken leg.  It's nice to know some people care, even if they don't comment.  I expect my numbers to go back down to their usual lows soon.  I could really try to comment more on other blogs, try to get on other's blog rolls, and self promote my site more.  But that's not really me.  I do speak up elsewhere and leave my address sometimes, but not too often.

I am a creature of habit.  Most of the bloggers listed on the right I have read for a long, long time.  I've seen them grow and change and used that when I started my own page.  I don't remember where exactly it started, perhaps with Diamond Geezer or Random Acts of Reality, but I started reading several blogs from the UK.  I've always had an interest in that part of the world so I'm sure I gravitated that way.  Over time that list has dwindled to what you see on the right.  Some know of me, some don't.  Some are friendly, some seem intimidating to me.  I still feel like I'm a fake blogger compared to them much of the time.

I'm just me, though, and for some that is good enough.  I could certainly have a worse hobby...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

On Bended Knee

Friday night friends came over for a few hours (and a few drinks).  That was fun.  It was the first time in a month I really felt like I was sociable.  My wife said they wanted to do that the first Friday after I was out of the hospital but she called it off.  She said I was not ready for visitors and looking back she was right.  That first 2 weeks I was not really ready for extended visits.  Anyway, friends came over and I felt kind of like a real person with a real life again for a little while.  It was nice.

I'm still unable - or too uncomfortable - to be going out and about.  Technically I guess I could do anything my wife helps me do, but I would be taking a bigger chance of losing my balance or fatiguing my good leg and taking a fall.  This should change once I'm allowed to put some weight on my healing leg and I can bend my knee again.  Even to go back to work I will first have to be able to bend my knee so I can sit in a normal chair.  Right now, if you look at my leg as 180 degrees, I can bend it maybe 10 degrees at the most.  This has to be because of the swelling.  It bends just a little then I feel an internal pressure that just won't allow it to go further.

Most of all, I miss walking.  My good leg gets tired quickly when I'm up and about and my hands are getting sore from supporting my weight when I do move.  I have 2 more weeks until my next appointment so I'm not expecting anything to change at least until then.  Having this broken leg grows tiresome, more and more the longer it takes...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Phoenix On Letterman

Hello, nothing special happening lately.  I did see this on the internet this morning, though.  Remember Joaquin Phoenix' freaky interview on The Late Show a year and a half ago?  Well, he returned to David Letterman last night to admit that it was all a joke.  All made up for a documentary on his career change to rap singer that really isn't a documentary.  I think it's great how Dave seems actually pissed and wants a million bucks for being a patsy in the movie.  I hope he sues his pants off!  LOL

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pic Dump 21

I hope everybody had a nice weekend.  Nothing special happened here except for football, of course.  Both the Badgers and the Packers won, but this isn't a sports blog so you can read about that elsewhere.  For the most part I am just biding my time while my leg heals.  Not too exciting.  I have nothing to do all day but eat, sleep, read, watch TV(ugh) and surf the internet to pass the time.  Mostly I surf the internet.  I find that preferable to mindlessly looking at the idiot box.  I'd like to get drunk.  I have had a few drinks lately, mostly during football games, but not enough to say I was drunk.  The last thing I need right now is to topple over in my walker and hurt myself some more, so anything more than a couple is out of the question right now.  Besides, I don't know if it's because my taste buds are coming back since I quit smoking or the painkillers I'm taking, but whiskey just doesn't taste as good as it used to before the accident. 

Anyway, with all my web surfing I have already collected more than enough pics for another Pic Dump.   So like it or not, here's the third one in just over a week.  (I'll try to be more discriminating in the future.)  As always, discretion is advised after the break, click on the pic to see the original size.   Enjoy!

Speaking of drinking, here's a funny map.  There's a good chart related to drinking near the end, too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day!   ARRRrr, matey!! 

"In the eight years since Dave Barry mentioned us in his nationally syndicated newspaper column, what once was a goofy idea celebrated by a handful of friends has turned into an international phenomenon that shows no sign of letting up....every September 19 (and sometimes for days before and after)!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Get Well Card

So I was perfectly happy being miserable all afternoon when I decided to check the mail just a bit ago.  One of the letters was a Get Well card from work.  I work with some very nice people and I know a card goes around when someone is out for a while, but it still caught me off guard in a very good way.  I want to say a great big thank you to everyone at work.  Today was a great day to get this, it really lifted my spirits.

                                  Thank You!!

Gloomy Day

It's a gloomy day outside and with not much sleep last night my mood has matched the weather.  I'm stressed because I'm not able to do much, my wife is stressed out because everything is up to her now.  I'm stressed because -besides not being able to do anything- I don't want my wife to be upset yet there seems to be nothing I can do to help, which just stresses her out more.  I can't help her by telling her what needs to be done, she knows.  I can't mow the lawn, I can't take out garbage, hell I can't bathe by myself yet.  This kinda really sucks.

I'll get over it and we'll be fine.  In a few weeks my leg will be healed and things will get back to normal.  But for today (at least until my wife comes home) I think I'll just let myself wallow in self pity and be miserable.  Confession over.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Internet Sucked Today

With nothing else to do you'd think I'd find something I wanted to write about.  Well,
It happens.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pic Dump 20: People In Animal Costumes

Another Pic Dump!  And so soon since the last?  Well, I have extra time on my hands these days.  Lucky you!

Quite some time ago I asked my wife, Kate, what kinds of pics she found funny.  She said that people in animal costumes are always funny!  So, I started saving those pics as I came across them for a dedicated pic dump.  Now, I did not do any specific searches trying to find these pics, I just saved them from my internet travels, so this post has been some time in the making.  The problem is there's just not that many of them out there, so I had to stretch the parameters quite a bit.

What follows are people in animal costume pics, people in other costume pics, animals in animal costume pics, even one animal in a people costume!  As with all pic dumps, discretion may be advised after the break.  Click on pic to see original size.  Enjoy!

Poor guy......  He must be fixed!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Herman Rarebell - Take It As It Comes

Herman Ze German (from The Scorpions) with some good advice:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Green Bay Opening Day!

Today is the opening day for my Green Bay Packers!  Expectations are high for the Packers this year, I just hope to see them do well one week at a time and perhaps we will have reason to be very excited at the end of the season.  Anyway, in honor of opening day, I am spotlighting my favorite Packer ever since he was a Badger, #65 Mark Tauscher.

Today's Wisconsin State Journal has a good article on his 'comeback' last season here.  And being a Wisconsin native and playing his whole college and pro career in the state prompted, Wisconsin's tourism board, to ask him to do a weekly blog about the state during this season.  The article about that is here, and the actual blog should be found here.  You didn't think I was going to write my own stuff, did you? 

Wherever you are I hope you are a Packers fan, if not then at least root for them for me!  I plan on enjoying the hell out of the game today against the Eagles.  It won't be easy starting the season in Philadelphia, but I think Tauscher, Rodgers, and co. will do well.

Go Pack Go!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pic Dump 19

It's time for another Pic Dump!  A collection of pics that I have come across recently that have caught my eye for one reason or another.  These aren't all meant to be funny pics, and that may be evident more so this time than in times past.  I may have an eye for thought provoking, sometimes artsy, and just plain weird pics as well.  As always, discretion may be required after the break.  Click the pic to see original size.  Enjoy!

253rd!  Poor girl..............      Now that's funny!

Friday, September 10, 2010

(At Least) 4 More Weeks

I had my 2-week follow-up appointment this morning.  It started with x-rays, followed by removing the staples.  There may not have been 100 staples as I commented to my sister the other day, but there were at least 50.  And yes, they hurt like hell to be pulled, but I survived.   My leg is still swollen and puffy.  When I touch my knee I can't feel it yet, which is a very strange, disconcerting feeling.  So I decided I just won't touch it for a while.  On the bright side, at least I can shower now.

The most shocking thing was that when the PA came in he put up this morning's x-rays right away before I had a chance to brace myself.  Wow.  Of this type of break, I really went all out.  It was broken in two different directions.  I now have an 8 or 9 inch metal rod in my leg with four 4 inch screws in the bottom of my femur (in the top of my knee joint) and two 2 inch screws above at the other end of the metal rod.  Eventually I may try to get some images so I can show you here, but trust me when I say I really broke it terribly.  My next appointment is in 4 weeks.  Until then I still can't put any weight on that leg, and so I will be completely off work until I can be re-evaluated in a month.

At least 4 more weeks.  Sigh.  That's a long time with not much to do.  All I can hope for is that my leg continues to feel more and more comfortable and I can improve my mobility even just a little.   I have improved since the surgery 2 weeks ago, so I must remember that and just let myself take the time to heal.  Yeah, that's it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Bought A Poncho The Other Day

I had a computer and time on my hands.  It's one of those things that I have never had yet always wanted.   They just seem like they'd be comfortable and functional for some situations and/or weather.

About 20 years ago I saw a poncho in a store that I really liked but, for reasons I can't recall, I never bought it.  I have regretted that ever since and have always kind of kept my eye out for one but never see any for sale.  So with that thought, free time, and permission from my wife I went about searching for one.  It wasn't as easy I thought - which makes me think I don't have fashion to worry about.  Fashion only matters as much to me as any other typical 40 something male, anyway.

I wanted black, but in the interest of dirt and lint, I got a gradated gray.  It has a hood, is made of sheep and alpaca wool and comes from Bolivia.  I got it here, less than 50 bucks total, and it should arrive in 10 days or so.  I really hope I really like it, but it's probably not smart to wear it while I still have to use crutches or a walker...

The Hospital Stay, Briefly

Generally the hospital stay was the necessary experience that you would expect.  It started out fine, Friday night after the surgery, with competent, nice, nurses who took good care of me.  When I started to see the nurse's aides on the day shifts is when I got nervous and worried.  These were people who seemed underqualified to say "do you want fries with that?"  It culminated in the last nurse I had on Sunday being downright scary.  She didn't seem to have confidence in what she was doing, so how were we to be confident in her?  She didn't even know how to operate the bed I was in.  But mostly she pissed me off when she gave me the wrong meds on Sunday afternoon.  I hadn't noticed at the time, but it sure explains why I got so drowsy!  We wound up voicing our displeasure to anyone who would listen, and had a talk with the head nurse about her before I was discharged.  We couldn't get me out of there fast enough that day. 

I've had the misfortune to be hospitalized a couple times in my life, and the quality of care has gone down each time.  I guess this is just a reflection of the times we live in, unfortunately.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Broken Leg: Week Two

Hello people, family, friends, peers, lurkers and random visitors.  I hope all of you enjoyed your 3 day weekend, if you were so lucky.  We would have been but, of course, we were both off work already.

My wife returned to work this morning for a half day, getting me all set up in my chair with everything I might need before she left.  I have been encouraging her to go back, I need to be more self sufficient during the day hours.  I had been working on my mobility with a walker (broken thigh, remember?) this holiday weekend and can now get myself around the house and in and out of chairs the way I need to.  After this she will work full days tomorrow and Thursday, maybe with an extended lunch break that she will use to come home and check in on me.  Then only in the afternoon Friday so she can get me to my leg appointment in the morning.

I know she has been upset with me a few times since getting me home from the hospital.  Mostly because I had been a jackass, frustrated with my own limitations.  But she has been wonderful to me this whole time.  If I had any doubt that she loved me, well, she has seen me at my lowest and still has never turned away from anything.  For that and so much more,  I love her more than anything.  When things are more normal I want to do something very nice for her.

Friday morning is the first follow-up appointment, a full fortnight after the surgery.  I won't even be seeing the orthopaedist, I will be seeing his PA.  I have never had staples before, I don't know if they will be removed then, but I am a little worried they will hurt.  (They're metal friggin' staples in my leg!)  I should get a clearer idea of when I may get back to work though, among other things.  I still have not seen my original x-ray.  I don't think I want to see it yet, but I may request a printout of the before and the after x-rays, in a sealed envelope for 'someday'...

I know I haven't recounted the hospital stay yet, so I may just touch upon that next.  It was kind of an eye-opening visit for me, but I'll explain that later.   Good Day!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Hunter Shoots A Bear

I found this fun to play with!  Do it!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Leg Meds!

Well, here is my surgically repaired right leg and meds I am taking.  I tried to make it look like an exclamation mark (!).  Eh, what can I say, I'm bored.  But the Badgers open their season tonight at UNLV!  I will be up for that despite the 10:00 pm start!

Recounting The ER

Well, I said I would recount my visit to the ER.  I was in exceptional pain at that time, so the following is the gist of what I can remember in that haze.  Facts may differ slightly, as may the timeline of some things.   This may be hard to read for those close to me.  It is upsetting for me to write.

The ambulance guys were nice, efficient and professional, and very understanding of the amount of pain I was in.  They gave me 100 mg of Fentanil, I think.  It seemed to me to be the most they could do.  When I got to the ER they told that to the nurse and also told them that it didn't even touch my pain.  The nurse shot me up with what she said was a double dose of Dilaudid, which did bring my screams down to a dull roar.  I do remember her saying, "Stop screaming!"  My breathing was still rapid and labored trying to deal with the pain.  This may have been the point that the young ER doctor, who still thought I had just twisted my knee, picked up my leg and straightened it out and back a couple times.  This made me scream bloody murder like I never thought I could.  It. Was. Brutal.  I yelled at him to stop, between my gutteral screams.  What followed was a shot of Morphine that did nothing for me.  I think around now they tried to get x-rays, but I could not be moved so the did their best and did manage to get their pics.  After that everyone was noticably nicer to me - the x-rays showed them how horrific my injury really was - and I got another shot of Dilaudid.  Finally the painkillers stopped my screaming, yet it was wearing off fast.  I begged them to knock me out over and over but I got nothing else until I was in the OR.  At one point I remember a rather large man talking forcefully to me about due to the violent nature of my injury if anyone did this to me or if anything else happened besides what I had told them.  I didn't see him again and, looking back, I believe it may have been some sort of cop.

That is mostly what I remember.  Definitely not everything that happened but in my state at the time I wish I could forget it all.

Edit: I should note that the accident happened at about 4:00 and I was wheeled into OR about 8:00, 4 hours later.  A long 4 hours in some ways.  As quick as they could, I am certain.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stepping Out, So To Speak

I had a doctor appointment this morning for my upper back.  It just confirmed what I already know but there's not a whole lot to be done about it until this busted thigh bone thingy is more under control (meaning less pain and more mobility).  I don't want to have to go to PT like this and I can't have an MRI with the brace on my leg (not to mention the staples in my leg!).  So, I just have to deal with it until we are better able to treat it.  I did get another prescription that is supposed to help with the inflammation of my back and the nerve that is giving me pain in my arm and numbness in my hand, though.

So this morning was very busy (mostly for Kate, of course) getting me cleaned up, dressed, and transported across town.  Very tiring and trying for both of us.  Shortly after we got home I ended up dozing until just recently, it really wiped me out.  My next scheduled foray out into the world is next Friday, a follow-up appointment for my leg.

I know blogging has been different around here lately.  I am not able to spend much time on the computer so I am trying to let everyone know how we are doing here so they don't feel the need to call constantly.  I know it is all well intentioned, but truthfully I am sick of repeating myself, and that's just to the medical staff!  I told the nurse this morning that I had written out how it happened on my website and I should probably just print it out for the next dozen or so inquirers!

Anyway, this is what I am dealing with so this is what I am writing about.  I want to thank everyone for all their well-wishes and nice comments (even though they don't comment here).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Fall

We had a nice visit with Lori (from my work) yesterday.  It sounds like the main rumor there is how drunk was he?   Well, lol, sorry to disappoint everybody but I hadn't had a drink at all.  Here's what happened:

I got home from work about 10 or 5 minutes to 4:00.  After dropping off all my junk inside I took a walk out to the back yard to check out the garden and pick up sticks if needed.  This is something that I do almost every day.  I'm still infatuated with being a homeowner so I go out sometimes just to admire what's mine and Kate's.  Strawberry runners are always trying to escape the garden, and the way our tree in back sheds sticks and branches has been well documented here.  All in all, maybe 5 minutes tops.

For some reason I was just doing a fast jog back to the house.  By the side door is a cement landing maybe 7 feet long with two wooden steps down to the back and two cement steps to the front.  I caught my foot going up the back steps and stumbled across the landing and down the other side, landing in a heap.  I laid there, unable to move my leg, for maybe 10 minutes until a neighbor got home and heard me yell.  Time; about 4:10.

She was very helpful.  I expected my wife home about 4:20 unless she had to stay a little late, which is a real possibility on Fridays.  My neighbor called the ambulance, helped clean up the blood off of me, grabbed my ID from inside and locked my doors.  The ambulance arrived followed shortly by my wife, about 4:20.

I don't remember how I fell exactly or anything, I wish I could block out the whole thing.  But there it is in a nutshell.  At a later date I will recount the emergency room.  I have had enough of these memories for now...

I do know that everyone at work has access to read my words here.  That was my choice, this blog isn't about work at all so if they're looking for dirt professionally or even personally it won't be found here.  I share what I choose, but I have no real secrets anyway.  So, if you are a co-worker who reads this, welcome!  If you have any questions or anything to say at all please leave a comment below or email me at scoakatsblog at gmail dot com!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lost Promotion

Today I was supposed to start training for a new position at my company - a promotion.  HR, my new bosses, and I decided that I would remain in my current position right now.  They can't hold up the class and I would be playing catch-up for months whenever I do return.  All while hobbling to and from work and physical therapy.  I'm disappointed, but there will be other job postings.

Things are hard here at home, too.  The last thing in the world I want to do is frustrate my wife, but it will happen.  I depend on her for everything right now.  (What would a single person with no close family do in this position?  Scary to think.)  I'm trying to get about more on my own but, really, I can only do so much right now.

Good news:  I ordered some books on Monday that will arrive today to help me fill the hours.  And a good friend from work is stopping by briefly this afternoon to lift my spirits and take some of the massive amounts of herbs we have in the garden.  Speaking of which, I had my wife take the end of the month garden pics for me yesterday so I can update my garden blog (listed on the right).

That's it for now.  My time on the computer must be limited to short periods since I sit mostly upright and my leg swells.