November 23, 2022

Silver Lining

Y'all likely remember that along with everything else going on, I'm the proud landlord to a colony of bacteria that is antibiotic-resistant. Fortunately there are a FEW bugstompers that are effective to various definitions of "effective". They're all IV-administered however. A course of them is anywhere from 7-14 days long. To prevent my arms from looking like someone threw a pissed-off hedgehog at me, a PICC line is inserted just above the elbow. This provides a medium-term port for the application of IVs and other meds.


But there's a catch. This PICC (for the more medically inclined amongst the Pond Scum, it's actually a "midline") is run up the arm, through the shoulder, and down to the vicinity of the heart to better move the drug around. The nursing home staff doesn't do that, instead hiring an outside company to do the work. THEY bring the fancy crap with them, like the ultrasound unit that's basically a tablet and salt-shaker. That lets the technician find the correct vein and run a dilator with a teeny tiny camera in it to better place the line.

This would be incredibly cool if it wasn't being done to me.  Anyway. The last three PICCs have all been inserted by the same man who I shall name Skippy for the duration of this post.  He actually said that I'm his favoritist subject because A) I'm not old, and B) I have a sensayuma. Also C) I'm not old. While he was getting set up, we chatted. He had left his home at 6am to show up around 8am to do the inserting. He'd stopped at McD's for some sausage muffins and hash browns during his drive. When he said that, I mentioned that I envied him.

See, I haven't had McD's... or really ANY fast food... since this nightmare began in March 2021, and I LOVE their brekky samitches. He then said the words that made me very happy: "I've got an extra I'm not going to eat, want it?"  I couldn't say YES fast enough.

Which is how I had McD's for breakfast yesterday... and oh, it was divine.

Then a few hours later, they bundled me up and moved me to another room. A PRIVATE room.  See, those bacteria I mentioned reached a count of 100,000. I don't know what that means, but it did seem to make people very excited. So they moved me. They SAY it's isolation, but honestly I don't care. I'd like to think that it's really because of my roomie, who has been irrationally angry of late. Screaming at nurses, CNAs, and anybody else within 50 feet about how they took his coffeemaker away (fire hazard), or how he want allowed to take a shower (not one of his shower days) or how they stole his underwear (still in laundry from the day before. This is normal). He saved his biggest fit for very early Monday. The toilet clogged (one application of plunger to fix) and he took it as a personal affront. At 330am he was ranting in the hallway about how his was going to start throwing punches if it wasnt fixed immediately.  NOT cool.

I'd taken to saying "quit yelling" at him, knowing it was pointless: he's nearly deaf. And of course, the incessant giggling.

Do two birds, one stone: get me into quarantine AND get me the hell out of that jerk's presence. Last night I slept for about 10 hours, the first real sleep I'd gotten in a week. So remember kiddies, sometimes infections can be good things!

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November 19, 2022

Whole Buncha Nuthin'

I wish I had more to talk about. There's just not that much going on over here. I mean, the big news I can think of was that they had donuts for the veterans a few days back. Only one of the bunch was in WWII.


That was... kinda sad, actually. He had no stories to tell, barely understood why he was there, and may STILL be trying to finish his Donut. Doesn't look a day over 150.

There's an eight-episode Arknights anime airing on Fridays; ep04 just aired. Reportedly it's quite good. It's going to cover Act I of the game story, chapters 0-3: The Fall of Chernobog. Yes, really. The subreddit is pleased thus far, it's hewing closely to the story as it is in the game, with only a few anime-only digressions. They've even figured out a way to show the Doctor (aka the Player) placing units on the map in a way that's different from the game, but is still recognizable. It's airing on Crunchyroll, but as a premium show it's not available to be watched by filthy f2p'ers. I'm trying to decide if I can afford $7.99/month to catch up on all the good anime I've missed in the past... two... years. 

Crap.

I think I'm just going to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep now. 

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October 30, 2022

Medical Shenanigans

I'm sure you all remember me whining about my reaction to the anesthetic when the Doc used a laser to play "Death Star and Alderaan" with a kidneystone last month.


It happened again. Early last week was the second procedure. This time to remove a stent that had been in my kidney area for 18 months instead of the eight weeks originally planned. See, the idea was that they'd pull it out after I got back from therapy.

Oops.

Last month when he tried to remove it, nothing happened. I got the distinct impression that maybe he could have yanked on it like starting a lawnmower...

As it turned out, the medical transportation unit... an off-duty pair of EMTs in an ambulance... took me to the wrong hospital.  Don't get me wrong, it was the right hospital, just not the one I expected. Instead of going to Tony's Body Shop, just a few minutes away from my current "abode", we wound up going to Stockholm Pancakes and Surgery, a few more minutes away in the other direction.

In the cold light of hindsight, I was never TOLD we were going to Tony's, I just assumed. Functionally there was little difference: the ambulance bay was just an overhang with thin walls ad opposed to the enclosed and protected one I was used to seeing. The hallways were laid out better... organized as opposed to organic. And the ceiling tiles were just plain white squares, no texture, no whorls, nothing. They could have been made from drywall, titanium, or carbon fiber and there'd be no way to tell. Boring.

The anesthesiologist took pity on me, the kinda 54-year old terrified child, and gave me a dose of sedative before I was scurried to the Room o' Knives and Lights. He added that I may not even remember leaving the waiting room.

I did. I remember there was a looping gift of a cartoon vampire on one part of the big screen on the wall... late October, yo. I remember being told that everything will be fine. I remember the anesthesiologist holding a mask over my nose and mouth, saying "breathe deep", then two deep breaths. 

Then I woke up in the recovery room, with a nurse that looked like a cross between the leader of a biker gang and a guitarist from ZZTop. Talked a lot of last-century football... Walter Payton was King... and politics. Or, at least, he talked politics, I was still drooling on myself. Which is basically how I talk politics anyway.

Some hours later, I was bundled back onto the medical transport... the same two EMTs, as it turned out... and brought back here. 12 hours later the retching started.  The good news was that there was no blood this time. By the time I passed out from pure exhaustion, I had been awake for three days straight (minus the surgery nap). On the plus side, when I woke up, I wasn't yakking anymore.  The catheter was pulled out that evening too.

So the surgery was a success. They got the old stent out, put a replacement in, and reported a 10mm kidneystone that the ultrasound bugzapper couldn't break up. So one more procedure lurks in my future. 

Dammit.

Right. You've been kind enough to read this far, so it's time for more songs from Arknights, which you could easily mistake for a record label.


People apparently disliked this track, the menu music for the "Maria Nearl" event. Which just goes to show that gamers don't know a good thing when they've got it.




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October 17, 2022

Changes

Pond Central is no more.


The DuckMobile was junked.

And I'm not feeling so good myself.
---------'

Thanks to Ph.Duck's efforts, nothing was left behind in the apartment. The well-timed appearance of Vaucaunson's Duck and his younger brother was all that was needed to get the furniture out and into the dumpster.  Except for the dining room table, which was a transplant from the kitchen of the Old Home Pond. Vauc's brother, who just moved into a new home himself, took possession of it, meaning it "stayed in the family " so to speak.

The coffee table, a lovely little thing Ph.Duck gave me some years ago, also went with Vauc's brother. Good call; it was probably the second-best bit of furniture I had. The computer desk, which was the best, is in storage. Total win, I was expecting to lose it. Vauc's brother also took the one truly odd thing: the top of my old coffee table... a seven-foot long, inch-thick piece of clear plexiglass. I held onto it, mainly because it was much too awkward to get to the dumpster alone, but also because... well, someone somewhere must have a use for something like that, right? 

He doesn't know what he's going to do with it either... but if he comes up with something, hrs got it.

All the military history books, all the manga, all the ducks, and all the anime figures: boxed and squirreled away in the basement of the Old Home Pond. I can't believe it really... Ph.Duck went far above what I was hoping for, and I can't thank him enough.

So that's it. Moved in January 15, 2001, moved out 21 years, 8 months and 16 days later.

Now if I ever get out of this nightmare, I don't have a place of my own to come back to. But I'll be able to walk, so I'll have that.

Which is nice.

From a time when the future was bright. Even now that synth-bass is enough to cause a flutter in my mind. 

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September 29, 2022

3m07s + A Shower

For the record: standing up is really tiring. You don't notice it because you're healthy, but take it from me. Hard work, this standing thing. It'll never catch on.


Shower was nice, too. First one this month, thanks to my roommate pretending that he's Turkey and the gap between the corner of his bed and the opposite wall, the Dardanelles and my custom wheelchair an aircraft carrier.  With its big offroad tires it does not fit in the Dardanelles, and Turkey my roommate refuses passage.

So something that should only take a minute or two and a single CNA, tops, becomes instead a massive headache that needs two or three CNAs and about 10 minutes. Half that if the crew has done it a few times before.

And all this backing and filling and hemming and hawing happened just a short time after therapy. By the time I crawled back into bed my shoulders ached and the headache from the Straits of Turkey had flared into something truly special. 

But, hey... 3m07s.

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September 12, 2022

Medical Indignities

So. Hi everybody! A little over a week ago, I went to the hospital for a planned procedure to deal with a kidneystone. The good news is that this stone had been located in a kidney... go figure, right?... back when all this crap began, and now it was in the bladder. PROGRESS!


The procedure is called a lithotripsy... spelling may be different in real life... which is a fancy way to say that they were going to run a camera attached to a super laser pointer up my lil' wonderducky and pretend to be the Death Star during its visit to Alderaan and break up the stone. 

From all reports the procedure went well, and after a 10am zapfest, I was back here by 4pm. Still a little zoned from the anesthesia they used, but otherwise cool. I even managed to eat half a peanut butter & jelly sandwich around 7pm.

At 8pm, I began reviewing inputs into the garbage can. Repeatedly. Until 3am, at which point I was taken back to the hospital. There was blood. 

IVs were inserted. Anti-nausea meds and saline solution were pushed to try and make life worth living again. Then once again, I was admitted for another stay on Tony's Body Shop, about 10 hours after the fun started. I stayed there until Sunday afternoon. The ceiling tiles were boring.

In between those times, I had two different doctors tell me that they were going to do things to my innards, coming from either end. In both cases, I would be anesthetized.

I told both of them no. Why did they think I was there in the first place? Right, I handled the sleepyjuice badly.  I'm not fond of medical personnel ignoring everything else to do their thing, then just flat out saying we're doing it. If it ain't a true must-do, at least consult with me, mmmkay? You'll catch more flies with honey than you will trying to push the fly into the jar. 

Somewhere around 10pm Friday, I fell asleep. Other than for medical things, I slept until early Sunday, then came back here.

Somewhere on Monday, I used the bucket. As I did so, something felt... wrong. Very wrong. Then, just as I began wondering if my prescription for pain pills had been filled, everything exploded. Once I got my eyes to stop spinning, I examined the bucket.

You know how in the bottom of a fish tank, there's a layer of gravel-like stones?  Apparently I had just expelled a fish tank from lil' wonderducky. I thought that the doc would be removing the kidneystone debris. I was wrong. Lot of it, though.

The pain meds didn't arrive until three days later. Now fast forward to this Saturday past and I'm looking up something on the hospital's patient portal and I see the report on the Death Star's visit to Alderaan. Curious, I began reading... and stopped dead when I reached the part where they broke up a 23mm stone... just under one inch in diameter. Thank whatever it is that watches out for ducks and idiots that it DIDN'T try to come out on its own.

I'm still passing bits and pieces, but the pain med helps. It also gives me the munchies. 


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September 01, 2022

Mental Note

When you've still got anesthesia in you, DONT EAT A PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH.


It will not end well.

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August 31, 2022

Surgery, And A Philosophical Question

Well, the procedure that was canceled last month is tomorrow morning. I wouldn't  be lying if I said I wasn't a little terrified, because I'm not.


I'm a LOT terrified. The Nephrologist that spearheaded my infection treatment... and brought me pizza yesterday so I'm obliged to love her... thinks all my nagging issues should be handled when this is over and done with. She's a doctor, so she knows what she's talking about. I'm just the patient, and there's a little me in my brain running around screeching in fear. 

Because that's what I do: I overthink things, then panic.  Usually it's pointless. Usually.

Philosophical question time: can it still be called a birthday when it was never born?
Hatsune Miku's VOCALOID pack was released on August 31, 2007, 15 years ago.  Which means she's now as old as the character was  said to be.

So can the avatar of a software package be said to have a birthday, or just a release date? Is there a difference?

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August 05, 2022

1m24s

One minute, twenty-four seconds.  Doesn't sound like all that much of a much, does it? And to you, the members of my Pond Scum, it isn't. 


For me, though? It's the culmination of 18 miserable, stinking months. Because that's how long I stood up for, completely without help of any sort. 48 seconds, 16 seconds, and 20 seconds, using only a grab bar for balance so I didn't faceplant immediately.

By the end of the third stint, I was a bit winded. Okay, a lot winded. But what would you expect, considering this was the first time since February 28, 2021 that I've stood up totally under my own power.

Yay. Ehehe.

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August 03, 2022

A New Life Awaits You In The Off-World Colonies

There's been a bit of fun and excitement over here over the past couple of weeks! The best news is that real physical therapy guided by real physical therapists has restarted. After a week, I very nearly stood up totally unassisted.  The only thing that stopped me was that I was alone and my feet were tangled in the leg rests of the wheelchair. If I had stood up, given the positioning I'd have ended up faceplanting almost immediately. The sit-to-stand device has become almost laughable. Today the harness gave me a little boost, but I pulled and stood up so quickly it was hanging loosely. Good positive results.


Neutral news: I have a surgical procedure scheduled for Friday, apparently to either break up one kidney stone, or to remove the Stent that went in 18 months ago to help get that kidney stone to move its way out of me. General anesthesia, so I'm likely to be goofy... goofier than normal after. No idea if there's an overnight needed... last time it took 36 hours before all the sleepy sleepystuff wore off.

Bad news: I am about to lose Pond Central, my home for 21 years. I've been relying on the kindness of other to cover my rent for pretty much all of 2022, and the end of 2021 as well. A Duckford program for people impacted by covid covered a few months, but they wouldn't renew afterwards... since I never actually HAD the Plague, they thought my "couldn't find a job because of it" wasn't good enough anymore. Ph.Duck has begun an evacuation of stuff, but 21 years of stuff... the reference books alone would tax the suspension of a van or smallish pickup. Furniture... my high-quality computer desk that I've had since before Pond Central... bookcases... my memory foam mattress...

PhDuck and RNDuck have rescued the ducks, but my figure collection will be much more difficult. The ones still in boxes will be simple. Of the others, the Great Haruhi Collection comes first. Beyond that? The 1/4 scale bunnies, if they can find the boxes. The small amount of Darjeeling figures from Girls und Panzer, probably. My To Heart 2 figs... fsck. 

Gotta put all that out of my head for a whole. I've got a procedure to get through first.

Yay.

Edit: Procedure is postponed due to vague instructions. My copies of the instructions says "blood thinners must be stopped _____ days before the procedure."  Everybody else has "...stopped 2 days before..."

I think the facility took that to mean my last dose would be given Wednesday night. The doctor's office actually meant two full days, which would have been Tuesday night. Last night I asked the nurse if I was getting my blood thinners, and she replied "yes," and pointed to a small pink-brown pill which matches one of the generic versions of the med.  

This morning I called the  doctor's scheduler. This began a six-hour long kerfluffle  that finally ended weirdly. I dozed off waiting for the final call from the doc's office... and never heard the music clip that acts as a ringer... so they left a voice mail.

The voice mail indicator is a simple electronic "beep."  THAT woke me. Sometimes I wonder.  Anyway, the doc was not willing to add to the risk factors, since bleeding WILL occur. There's a difference between "incidental bleeding" and "Oh crap oh hell oh no bleeding".  So, no procedure.

There is a good-looking Nephrologist that is going to be passed next time I see her.

I talked to the nurse this evening and told her about the day's activities. She said she never told me that the blood thinner was in the cup, and she didn't give me the pill. So either she's confused or deflecting blame... or I completely misunderstood her response to "am I getting my blood thinners?"

 The pill was not in this evening's bucket o' pharmaceuticals by the way.

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July 03, 2022

No Longer Hagridden

After 11 days, the Powers That Be decided that I was COVID-19 free and could rejoin the general populace. I still feel not so great, but I guess that'll be a thing for a while. Food tastes  . different, like vaguely metallic maybe. It's not like the kitchen here needs any help in the "making food poorly" category.


Well, at least I have a new roommate.  My last one, who I loathed, went into Plagueville a week after me roughly, so I've been placed in a room with an elderly man who can't really speak, or honestly much of anything.  Quite often the only sound from this room is the beeping alarm on the IV pump I'm hooked up to three times a day, screaming there's an issue of some sort... usually that it's empty.

Like now, as I'm writing this at 8am. It's been beeping for an hour as it waits for the Nurse to come turn it off and disconnect me. Staffing levels are pretty awful on weekends.

In other, non-medical news, I started playing Arknights a couple of days ago. An MMORPG Tower Defense game doesn't seem like it'd work, but so far so hoopy.  It's nothing like FGO, I'll tell you what. But the art is good and I have an anthropomorphic badger carrying a riot shield on my team... what's not to like?


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June 21, 2022

Too Ranty To NOT Use...

So I  got an email from the official First Friend of the Pond Vaucaunson's Duck (est 197 today that ended with "Hang In There."


The following is much of the response I sent.

----------
Hanging is sounding more and more like the right choice! Though all things considered, my luck has been so bad recently that the hangin' folks ("Nooses R Us"?) would probably use a bungee cord instead of a rope:

"May Heaven grant you forgiveness, for you'll get none from us. Hangman, if you would?"

-----Boi-i-i-i-nnnnnnggggg-----

"Haw haw haw!!! You shoulda seen the look on your face! Actually, us too, what with the black hood and all. But I'll betcha it was funny!"

Huh... literal Gallows humor. Wasn't my plan, but what the hell, it's keeping my mind off the travesty they just served for lunch. Pot pies are called pot pies because they look like friggin' PIES, not because they look like someone made them while high on pot. Seriously, a dry, ice cream scoop sized, ball of some vegetables, and something that looks like... chicken? Tuna? The result of feeding a nice 2x4 into a wood chipper?...that's used as both the pastry part and the filling part.

Mmmmm... I love the smell of wood filler in the morning. But not, it must be said, when it's lunch. I'm starting to understand the people who say "I'd kill for a good slice of pizza"  AND MEAN IT. I've actually had dreams about swimming-pool sized deep dish pizza. Or simple mac and cheese that that tastes like it was at least in the vicinity of actual CHEESE at one point in its creation.

THINGS WONDERDUCK HAS SAID WHILE EATING THE MAC AND CHEESE HERE:

"Why did they use lasagna pasta?"
"Why does it have brown gravy?"
"Why is the cheese sauce spicier than the enchiladas we had yesterday?"
"What sins have I committed to deserve this punishment?"
"...where's the macaroni? What do you mean 'they substituted toast'???"

At least they haven't figured a way to ruin jello yet. I like the orange-colored better than the red-colored, and they're both better than every other color. Though I remember a black cherry jello that was really tasty growing up.

----------

I didn't get any sleep last night, courtesy of two soggy and not very warm at all grilled turkey and cheese "sandwiches" and their effect on both my stomach and my gag reflex. My tum-tum didn't stop doing the Hustle until 430am, at which point a nurse came in and  turned on the 1000000lumen overhead lights to get my "roomies" BP. It took 19 minutes, as his brain is even farther off the reservation than I was led to believe. 

If I get no sleep tonight, you're probably getting a 4000 word essay on the evolution of the toothpaste tube's cap, such is the effect all of this crap is doing to my already stupid stream of consciousness.

Look forward to it, don't you?

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June 19, 2022

Because Of Course It Did

1043pm Sunday night, after having requested it, I had a test come back as positive for COVID-19.


I willingly hermited myself for two+ years, and went through two different outbreaks in my various locations, nothing. I was tested on Friday, clean. A few wet coughs later, tah-dah, I've got the thing I've tried so hard to avoid.

If this wasn't a family-friendly blog, this is where there would be a long, invective-filled diatribe. But it is. So there won't be one.

But oh, the need to curse the universe is very strong right this moment...

Edit: Roommate came back clear, which is good. I may not like him, but I have no interest in having his health on my conscience.

They moved me to the Plague Hall inside of an hour. My new roommate has the same first name as the other one. According to the nurse? CNA? in the hall, he's apparently not really present, if you know what I'm sayin'??

WiFi is spotty or just *bad* here in my little corner of the leprosarium. It was excellent at the other end of the building. Swear to whomever if I can't get good broadband...

Edit, Next Morning: Food is served on paper plates or in Styrofoam cups, with sporks.  Better and better. Probably will just burn our gowns and bedding instead of washing them...

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June 17, 2022

More Hoses

I woke up Thursday morning, grabbed my bucket, and take a whizz.


Except I didn't. The urge was there, but nothing I did worked except just gritting my teeth and straining until I saw stars. This has happened once before and it cleared up after a couple of hours.

Nope. By three in the afternoon I was very unpleasant from pain, except to Carrie, the Nephrologist. She called ahead to the hospital, let 'em know what was coming in.

Once transportation arrived things took place in a hurry. In an ER room that's also regional trauma center??  I laid there until they got around to me... and it took three professional nurses 11 sticks to take 4 bottles of the red cstuff and get an IV going.

Around 1030pm, they took me into a room and said "We're going to insert a Foley cath now." Then when they saw my face, they said there will be good drugs. The first was a sedative that took me into a numb haze. The second was a gel they liberally gooped into lil' ducky.

And then they began sticking hoses  and tunes into something that's a definite out.

It took them five tries, using progressively smaller hoses, until they installed a Pediatrics sized hose.

Almost immediately 750ml of brown sludge flowed into the bag. Yeah my superbug infection appears to be back. Didn't get home until 2am, but didn't sleep... my mind wad wearing a groove into my brain with "20, 18, 16, 14, 12." Those being the sizes they tried.

I slept all day while my body flushed the anesthetic out of me... always takes longer for me. Even this post has taken two hours to type... prufredin it going to take forever.

EDIT: It fell out around 4am Saturday. I have no friggin idea what now, because I can't get the nurses here to talk to me.  My mood is not high.

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June 03, 2022

Hospital pt6, The Other One With All The Hoses.

The Time: a couple of days after my lil' wonderduck had been dehosed. Late evening.


The Place: a remarkably comfortable hospital bed, watching Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

The Moment: I was reminiscing about an acting student at Duck U when I was getting my tech theater BFA. I'll call her "Kate" because she looked remarkably like Hepburn at a similar age, and for once because that actually was her name. I actually met her before I was a student at Duck U, during an orientation day/night, when us prospective theater folks (all three of us!) got to watch the current show. Us three n00bs unofficially teamed up against the ravening hordes of real students. I was struck by three things about Kate: first, her remarkable resemblance to K Hepburn. Second, her nose stud, the first I had ever seen, which I found to be quite fetching. And third, she actually seemed to like me. But that's a different story for a different day.  Anyway, watching hi g the film and reminiscing when The Event occurred 

The Event: I barfed.

Now you may say "But Wonderduck, you hadn't been eating much, how did you.. ," which is a fair question, and one I had no good answer for at the time. I didn't even feel poorly, it was a very strange occurrence, and one that happened so quickly I had no prep time. One moment I was fine, the next I had a brown-green slurry about the consistency of a melting vanilla shake from WcRonald's down the front of my gown, the blanket,and a pillow.  Quite a bit of it too, if I may be so bold.

Surprised, I hit the call button, explained what had happened to the nurse on intercom duty, and a few minutes later I had been tidied up all my bedding changed, and the poofy air mattress wiped down with something that smelled of equal parts bleach and Satan's left armpit. While I was rolling around on the bed and biting back tears from the pain in my leg, I explained that no, it just happened, ykonw what I mean, and that I felt okay.  Just in case though, she handed me one green barf bag, a rubberized plasticy thing that looked like a bondage getup for a cucumber.

One. Oh, if only...

more...

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May 11, 2022

A Dog's Age, A Duck's Life

Well, it has been a while,  hasn't it? There are reasons for that.  Firstly, I've been a bit under the weather... maybe a week and a bit ago my stomach rebelled against the proletarian concept of food, one Stalinistic Purge after another.


Then there's the infection. I think I've mentioned it's antibiotic resistant. Turns out it's not resistant to all of them. Unfortunately the ones that still work are IV-based. So the decision was made to throw another PICC line (nurse: "It's a mid-line.") into my arm. At least this caused no issues, but I'm hooked to the tree for about two hours per day.

Despite my taking a prebiotic, the antibiotic ... I'll just call it "Jeff" from now on... has done a number on all the good bacteria. I mean, Jeff has done a better job on that than the real target. 

Anyway, there's less blood usually so that's a positive. I'm seeing a specialist tomorrow with a non-trivial chance that a catheter is stalking me. I used to hate dentists, but at least they don't try to work via your bellybutton.

There's been a lot of not sleeping going on too.  My roomie, who I'll also call Jeff, is 65 looking like 80, and goes to bed right after dinner. Lights out and silence, and he tries to get me to do the same. Jeff doesn't care if I sleep, he just wants dark and quiet.  To which I have of course said no. 

Jeff also thinks the light of my phone screen is too bright, and the sound of a bag of chips being opened too loud. As is my bed as I adjust it to a good sleeping position six hours early. To express this dislike, he unleashes the Litany of Profanity and the Panoply of Sounds. 

The Litany is uninteresting; only five words that get strung together in combinations.  The Panoply is different. From hums to express displeasure, to a Lecter-style intake of breath, to a raspberry, these sounds definitely indicates bad moods. The big one however is a heavy breathing thing... like he's trying to growl, maybe. Last night he added a new one... whacking his table hard with something. 

Of course that one dragged me out of a rare bit of sleep. I mean I'm a night owl... 3am is no stranger to me... but I've been trying to be polite and nice, which results in me waking up at 2am and not being able to sleep again. At least last night I expressed my displeasure with "what the hell is your problem?" His muttered "no problem" seems like he didn't expect me to respond.

I've resorted to official complaints, and two nurses have gotten involved too. Apparently I'm not his first roomie, just the most recent.

In good news, visitors have been a thing! First it was the folks, then Vaucaunson's Duck all the way from California, and The Librarian is coming next week. All of which has been a welcome change from being the youngest inmate and having nurses and CNAs only to talk to... and they all yell. I assume it's because of deafness of the other folks. I've taken to speaking quietly while they yell, hoping to reduce their volume subconsciously. Mixed results.

The 6th Hospital entry is coming... this one is probably the worst to talk about because there's very little funny involved and I need there to be some.

Lunch is being passed out... allegedly chicken parm and pasta. We'll find out.

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April 24, 2022

Birthday Gifts

No donut, alas. Just a store-bought chocolate chip cookie... sugar-free. I ate it anyway.


Ph.Duck and The Nurse (ret.) stopped in for about an hour or so. First time I've seen either of them in the flesh since the hospital. They brought with them two bottles of Sprite, which was heavenly. It's been water and juices all year... and some kool-aid,  which in the right circumstance can be awfully tasty.

Do you remember an entertaining trifle called Go! Go! Nippon? I really enjoyed the thing, and ridiculously enough, liked the geographic bits as much as I did the two heroines, Makoto and Akira. Like most of us dedicated fans... and you have to be considering the amount of weebhate thrown at it, the hope was for a new DLC or, miracle of miracles, a new GGN game. Time passed, and the 2015 date of the last update receded in the mirror. It seemed unlikely that we'd ever see the girls again.

On April 22nd, that all changed. That is when I  discovered that they two of them are VTubers now, and have been for eight months.... and if they got 10000 subs, a new GGN! game would go into production!

On my birthday they reached that 10K goal. There's going to be a new version of GGN! Okay, look, I know it's not much, but that was a nice birthday gift to get.

And in the best gift of all, Big Papa Pixy has found the four missing years and wrangled them back into place on the sidebar. They probably fell under a server rack somewhere and he found it as he prepares to decade to a new residence.  Thank you, Pixelmator! You're the ginchiest!

All right, you apes! You wanna blog forever? Get back to work... um... blogging. 

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April 22, 2022

54.

Birthday #2 in a long-term care facility.

At least I still have birthday candles.

Maybe the facility will give me a donut this year. That would be nice.

Yes, I'm a little grumpy about this milestone.

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April 05, 2022

Hospital pt5: The One With All The Hoses.

The next day was relatively boring, all things considered... except I was told that lunchtime was going to be the last time I could eat or drink for 24 hours. "Okay," I said, "why?"  Tomorrow afternoon the doc you met the previous day is going to do cruel and unusual punishments to your forward naughty bits.


Suddenly all thoughts of what was happening on Law And Order Traffic Division" was totally gone from my brain, replaced by a panicked whining and scurrying rodent. What had been boring had changed to something bigger and more.  AREN'T I LUCKY?  Surprisingly, sleep came easily that night. Inflatable beds: ask for them by name!

The next morning was a thirsty one. No water for 20 hours can do that to a duck, but it's only uncomfortable. I could manage that easily... hey, where'd all these red flags come from?  Once the time came, the medicos slid me easily onto the gurney, thanks to a really slippery sheet that had been placed previously.  Clever. The gurney ride to the Operating Room was exciting... new pattern ceiling tiles!... but strangely nobody else seemed to share my energy for the topic. indeed, I suspect the OR Nurse was looking forward to handing me off to the anesthetic specialist, just to shut me up.  What can I say, I get chatty when I get nervous. 

In the pit lane... yes, the doctor actually called the waiting area for the OR the "pit lane", because of the individual stalls for patient gurneys... they had me sign a consent form. It was a little late for that, to be frank. Then came the moment of truth: the sleepymask was placed over my nose and mouth and I was told to count backwards from 100.  I was later informed that I made it all the way to 98 before the lights went out.

And they say that redheads need more knockout juice to work.

I woke up in the same pit stall some unknown amount of time later.  Well, "woke up" may be a little overstating things.  I was awake, but as has become normal for me and  the goodnight juice, I was really quite out of it. In fact, it took a good 36 hours for my right eye to be willing to stay open, a sure sign that I'm sleepy.  I checked something... yup, firehose stuck into my lil' ducky. I was then encouraged to give it a try.

Red. 100% firetruck red. If there was urine involved, it had been mugged and left for dead somewhere. Khorne would have been well pleased, for he cares not from where the blood flows, only that it does. Or he would have gone "Dude, ew, no." One of the two. I was actually glad to be groggy still, it probably kept me from freaking out.

Ah the innocence on display, where red was something to worry about.

This went on for a few surreal days until I got a visit from the hospital nutritionist. I explained my reluctance to eat much, he talked about what not to eat when you're on bloodthinners ("Kale. It's literally the worst thing possible. I've never actually MET someone who ate kale, but it's bad."), and what his plans were for the weekend: a race weekend for the FIA World Endurance Championship. Big hospital, small world. We talked a bit about that as you might imagine.

Finally came the day that the catheter was removed. "It won't hurt, just some tugging." They were right, but didn't mention how weird it would feel. "So how was that?"  Not bad, just... oh wait... crap! I thought I was about to wet the bed.

Instead, an inch-long thing came out. It was sort of pink and didn't seem to be moving. All I could say was "What the hell is that???" I'm sure my voice was strong and steady, firm without the slightest bit of hysterical gibberish.  

The response did nothing to shake me from my strong mental position: "It's a blood clot, just stuff in the tube. Nothing to worry about!" I gave them both a fisheyed stare for a bit and said "Did you ever see the original *Alien* film? Remember the chestburster bit?  After it popped out and hissed at everybody, it scrambled across the floor and into the walls. That's how that felt.  Without the pain and visible internal organs, though. I think."

The doc eventually came back in, told me everything went without a hitch. I was still in the anesthetic haze, so I may have spoken clearly. I also may have drooled all over myself. Not sure which.

Right. That hurdle passed, hooray!

And then what? Something very strange occurred, and it was nearly as bad as getting a blood clot in my leg.

Next Episode, more zombies!

Also next time, Hospital pt6, The Other One With All The Hoses.

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March 29, 2022

A Word of Advice

If a nurse is holding something medical with intent to apply it to you and she says it isn't going to hurt, do not believe her.


It's going to hurt.

A lot.

Even without needles.
--------------

I've been going through some health issues recently, caused by my infection.  Turns out it's a superbug that simply laughs at most antibiotics. Most... but not all. There are a few that will kick it in the teeth, but they're all IVs.  After a week long fiascorevRxing the placing of a PICC line that involved three attempts, two failures, a lot of bleeding, and a company losing the facility's business, they finally got one in me. 

My arms look like I let a boxer practice on me for a while though.

At least I'm in Duckford.

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