Monthly Archives: December 2005

Merry Christmas from Bubba!

Wow. Christmas Day, 2005. Where does all the time go? I also saw that this is my 100th post since I started keeping this blog back in May. Do I really have that much to blab about? Apparently so.

Past couple of days have been ok physically. Still tired a lot of the time, but not nearly as exhausted as I have been. I’m feeling better to the point that I’m probably going to attempt to go back to work this week, so I’ll make them happy by going back at the end of my FMLA leave. I called work last week, and they said that if I come back by then I’ll have my old job; if I don’t, then I have 60 days to look for a job within the company. If I don’t…well, no job. And it’s not like I can do without the insurance either. However, I’ve still been depressed because they haven’t found a real answer as to what is going on with me. But at least they’re starting to get good about treating symptoms….

I’m having to cut this short because I’m leaving with Pat to go to California for a couple of days. It will be nice to spend Christmas with some of her family, especially this kids. Merry Christmas, and God Bless You!

Category: Site News

Thursday before Christmas….

Hiya kids! Santa Bubba here…and no, I don’t have presents. Just stories with more medical terminology than a med student will see in a semester’s worth of studying.

Yesterday was the Pulmonologist. When my PCP booked it for me, he told me that he was a sleep specialist. Which IS true, but the first thing this doctor’s assistants do is run me through a bunch of breathing tests. I was probably too much of a smart-aleck yesterday…halfway through the tests she hands me a nebulizer and tells me to breathe normally. Normally? I don’t know about y’all, but when I breathe normally I don’t shove something in my mouth. And then I asked her why it was ‘smoking’…I know, I know. It’s just the albuterol. But not having asthma and being given one of these was just a little different.

Anyhoo, the doc then comes in. After talking for a while, found out that he did a residency at Cook County in Chicago, the one that the show ER is based on. That was interesting because I used to do tech support for some of the City of Chicago offices that are in the same neighborhood. But I digress. He tells me that first, since the albuterol helped in the breathing tests, he’s going to put me on two different inhalers. Then we talk about my sleep study, which he says went well at 10cm/H2O. I gave him a previous sleep study that was done, and I also told him that I took Ambien for the second one. He asked how much sleep I was getting, and I told him that I’m actually only getting about 5 hours of good sleep at night, and even when I go to take naps, I really can’t sleep too much. He responds by giving me a scrip for Ambien too. The last thing he leaves me with is that, because of my symptoms, it’s still possible I have Valley Fever. He says that the blood test, which has come up negative three times for me, is often unreliable, and he’s been seeing a lot of people that respond to the drugs for the illness that are testing negative to blood draws for it. He also says he’s going to put in for a CT scan…and when I advised him insurance has already turned it down, he said “I’m a specialist. Don’t worry, they’ll do it.” Nice thing to hear from a doctor.

Off to the pharmacy I go…and I find out that a generic is only available for one of my scrips…including the spacer for the inhalers, I find out that the copays alone are about $120. Apparently because I don’t have enough uses for money I don’t have. *sigh* Oh well, thank God that at least I have it, and I’ll see if I get better. Only problem is, I have to return the next day for one of the inhalers; they don’t have it at the time.

Then I get a call from Pat, wanting to know if I want to decorate cookies with her and Maddie, my ex’s niece. Decorate cookies? Naah, Bubba’s gonna pass on that. But spend time with Maddie? I’ll be right over. Yes, that’s the young lady to the left. She’s 10 now, and besides being a cutie, is usually a lot of fun to be with. Got to spend some time watching her, Pat, and Pat’s friends Renee and Jacob decorate cookies, went out to dinner, and played computer games with them. A nice evening, for sure, even if I kept coughing all the way through it.

Got up this morning, and actually felt somewhat rested, but still pretty tired. Went to my PCP, requested that he put me on a month-long course of antibiotics, especially since my ear is still irritated and plugged up, even after the Z-packs that I’ve been prescribed. He gave me about 3 weeks of samples of Levaquin, and he also said he’s going to consult with my Infectious Diseases doc. I also have to make an appointment to see him now, too.

Since I felt halfway decent, decided to go to Wally World and do some shopping. Got a bike tire pump (one that works), some food, a cheap sweatshirt, and a new printer. Not because I needed a new printer, but because buying the ink for the one I have versus getting a new one and getting the ink for THAT one is going to cost me less than one dollar more. Boys and girls, can you say disposable printer? Very good! Then I picked up my second inhaler and headed home.

Now, there are two laughs of the day. First one was on my way from my doc’s office this morning. Pulled alongside a Chandler police officer on a motorcycle. License plate frame said “SMILE! I’M NOT BEHIND YOU!” Second one happened when I got home. You see, this morning, I used the inhaler, attaching it to one of those spacers to make using the inhaler easier. Well, after using it this morning, I couldn’t find the cap to the inhaler, so I just put it in the box, figuring it would turn up somewhere. Well, when I went to use the new inhaler with it this afternoon, I found the cap…firmly lodged in the spacer I use with the inhaler. If you’re not familiar with what I’m saying, let me take it one step further. When I used the inhaler this morning, I did everything but remove the cap before using the inhaler. Yessiree. I get the championship idiot award for today.

Until next time, just remember that there’s always someone out there that has it worse than you do. And if they’re smart, they’ll keep a blog to keep everyone amused with all the good stuff.

Category: Site News

Quickie from Tuesday…

Howdy! Just a quick word before a late bedtime.

Today was same old stuff. Fever is gone (yay!), but still have congestion, coughing, and that same feeling of plain ol’ “I don’t want to get out of bed anytime today”. I know, I know. I’ve been told this before. “Once you get out of bed, take a shower, and get moving, you’ll feel better!” Thanks. And bite me. Here’s how it goes…wake up around 9, out of bed at 10, about 11:30 get around to breakfast, 1:30 I have enough energy to shower, then sit on the bed for about 30 minutes to recover, and about 2:30 I am finally out the door to get a haircut, run to the drugstore, and back home for a nap.

Wow. That sounds grouchy. In fact, I’m noticing I’ve been very grouchy and ill-tempered lately. OK, I’ll say it. I’ve been mean. I’ll remember that for Thursday, my PCP appointment…maybe it’s time to go back on an anti-depressant. Tomorrow is my pulmonologist/sleep specialist appointment. Guess I also have to ask him how that’s going to affect my sleep.

OK, I’m up too late doing this. I’m going to bed. Just remember: missle turrets don’t like to be alone. Lonely missle turrets usually end up as dead missle turrets.

Category: Site News

I prayed for an angel…

Category: Site News

Miscellaneous, late-night ramblings.

Some odd things I wanted to get off of my chest.

First, if you’ve been reading this for a while, you know how much I have loved Rhapsody. Well, that love has come and gone. Large, poorly written client that fails install more than 50% of the time on computers I’ve seen, and lately the service has been down more than up. Well, Yahoo! just launched a service called Y! Music Unlimited that is much cheaper than Rhapsody, has an interface that is much less processor-intensive, and has some nice features like the ability to create a playlist based on a single song. Initially I didn’t see much use in that, but if you’re a music nut like me, it will bring up some old favorites you haven’t heard in a while. Check it out. And no, I’m not getting paid to endorse them. If you want to see me get paid, click some of the Google ads at the top…lol.

Oh, and I also have some updates for today. My sleep study basically said that the pressure on my CPAP machine is too high, according to my PCP. The next thing, which really surprised me, is that my doc scheduled an appointment for me with a sleep specialist/pulmonologist. Probably because I wasn’t seeing enough doctors who, put in a room and tied together with duct tape, can’t tell me what’s wrong. So, I see my fourth specialist Wednesday afternoon, knowing that the fifth one comes after Christmas (the cardiologist). Oh, joy. I can’t wait.

I’m also going to have to call work late this week. Not sure what’s going to happen…I’m going to have to file my appeal for disability pay shortly, probably without a diagnosis. If that doesn’t happen, or even if it does, my FMLA leave ends on December 29, and unless a major miracle happens, I will not be anywhere near ready to go back to work. Hopefully, I’ll still have a job…heck, at this point I’ll settle for being able to work somewhere. So, if you’re praying, this is a major turning point for me.

Well, I think I should probably call it a day. Keep your stick on the ice, kids.

Category: Site News

Sermon you need to listen to

Cornerstone has posted the sermon I was talking about a couple of weeks ago. If you’re a Christian, take a listen to the December 11th sermon on this page.

Category: Site News

Rough weekend.

Hi kids. Unca Bubba here. Hope you had a good weekend.

Because mine was rough. I felt worse yesterday than I have the past four months, and that’s saying a lot. Ran a fever between 101-102.5 all weekend, and almost ended up in the ER when my fever kept going up. However, my good friend Tylenol eventually got it back down to about 101. Fortunately, today, the fever is gone. All I’m left with now is some heavy congestion and coughing. Nice, eh?

I talked to my brother, who is also in the medical field. He said that based on what I’ve told him, sounds like my primary care physician is doing his job; the onus is now on the specialists. He advised me not to change my PCP, but to start getting under the skin of the specialists. So, this afternoon, I’m going to call the hematologist/oncologist and ask for test results, and see what the next step is. Who knows where it will get me, but we’ll try. I’m also going to call my PCP in a bit and ask for 30 days of antibiotics, since these onesies and twosies of z-packs aren’t cutting the mustard.

Other than that, didn’t do much of anything all weekend, except watch football. Watched my Colts lose their first of the year, which hopefully will snap them back into focus about winning the Super Bowl. The Cardinals tanked as usual, which would almost be disappointing except that it’s so expected I can’t get worked up about it anymore. But the shining spot in my weekend was the Bears manhandling the Falcons. I missed the first half of this beauty, but when I tuned in the first thing I saw was Rex Grossman coming in at QB for the first time this season. I thought “Lovie, you’ve lost your mind!” But then, we found out why Lovie Smith is the coach, and I’m sitting in Arizona screaming at my TV. Rex didn’t set the world on fire, but definitely played solid football. Add that to the Bears’ world-famous defense, and you’ve got a Chicago Bears win. Here are a couple of sportscaster memorable quotes from last night:

“Someone had better block Urlacher before he kills someone.”
“But you see, he hit him on the left side, not the right side, where the ribs are.”

Well, time to blow my nose a few dozen more times. Talk to you soon.

Category: Site News

Is five days a long time?

Apparently so. I haven’t updated in a while…I’m sorry! Anyhoo, I’ll bring you up to date.

I went to Vegas Tuesday, and came back on Thursday morning/afternoon. I actually felt pretty decent while I was there, and actually did some walking around. I knew I would be sore because I hadn’t done that much exercise in a while, but I thought it would be good for me. And no, I didn’t lose much money up there; I don’t have much money to lose. But I still had fun, saw the sights, got some cheap meals, including the buffet at the Rio where I stayed.

They touted it as Vegas’ biggest and best buffet…and with a claim like that, folks, you gotta be a little skeptical. The price seemed to substantiate their claim, but it didn’t prevent me from being a Doubting Thomas. Well, I found out I had a free buffet coming to me, so I thought I would check it out. Now, I won’t say it’s big…but it took me about 10 minutes of walking around to see everything. However, most people would have a big problem trying to come up with a type of food not in there. They had it all. Seafood, barbeque, Chinese, Mongolian BBQ, Italian, a bunch of other stuff which slips my mind, and a dessert cart that rivals anything I’ve seen anywhere. I was, for one of the few times in my life, overwhelmed at a restaurant. Even as I took the smallest portions, it was plain to see I was not going to be able to sample everything. The greatest thing about the buffet was that the quality was just as good as the quantity. If you go to Vegas, this is the place to eat.

All good things come to an end, though, and I started driving home early Thursday morning. Thank God it was early enough to where I missed the vast majority of rush hour, not only in Vegas but also at the Hoover Dam. The drive home was pretty uneventful, and because of the massive quanitities of caffeine I was consuming, I was able to stay awake. I stopped at the Cowboy Cafe in Wickenburg, and had a nice lunch, especially the scripture that was on a photo of one of the ropers that visited the cafe.

His name is Mike Fletcher, and according to a website he won the all-around championship for the IPRA rodeo one time back in 1983. Anyhoo, the scripture he had on his commemorative picture was 2 Timothy 1:7. The NIV Version shows it as ” For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” But the version he listed was the KJV, which I normally do not read because ‘thou’ is not a part of my everyday vocabulary. The KJV translation of that same verse reads “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (emphasis mine). The wording of the last part of that verse really struck me, because I go up and down so much with my fatigue that sometimes I honestly wonder if I’m not just depressed. And, to be honest with those that understand the phrase ‘name it and claim it’, I am not given to put too much into general scripture and try to apply it to everything under the sun. But I feel that I saw that verse, that day, as an encouragement to me, to say this is not all in my head, but there is something wrong. I am so thankful that God has a book full of promises for those that believe Him. If you think I’m just another one of those religious nuts, leave your email in the comments. I’d love to talk to you. And I’m sure that Mike never meant for that scripture to be taken in that light, but if you’re reading this, Mike, thanks for the encouragement. One more thing…in doing research to make sure I got Mike’s name right, it looks like he’s part of a ministry called Cowboys for Christ. If you’re a cowboy, check it out, would you?

However, the minute I sat down in the booth there, the same old feeling of “all my get up and go has got up and gone” hit me like a ton of bricks. I did guzzle enough coffee to get home safely, but I have been pretty much useless since then. My nasty cough also decided to reappear on the drive home. Was in bed pretty much all of Friday.

Bringing us to today. My cough, which started to reappear on the way home from Vegas, became almost overwhelming. I’ve probably swallowed about 30 cough drops easily; thank God for the huge, economy-size bag of cough drops I picked up last week. I’m also getting chills, and running a fever, besides the general malaise that has permeated my life in the last few months. This being the weekend, I’ll wait until Monday to call the doctor…and I’m probably going to be finding another one first thing Monday morning.

Emotionally, I’m pretty spent. I don’t know what way to turn, or why I’m being allowed to go through this. I’m not hopeless; I was listening to music today and heard that great Petra Praise song “No Weapon Forged (?) Against Us Shall Prosper”, which was a little uplifting. But I’m still depressed. It took pretty much everything I had to do a few dishes (loading them into the dishwasher…OOH! BIG WORK!), before I had to lay down for the fourth time today. Even now I feel like going back to bed, but I am so sick and tired of being in that bedroom. There’s a part of me feels like it’s already dead by just laying down in there, so exhausted, over and over again. I also had to miss a birthday party that was being held less than a mile from my house (Happy Birthday, Brenda!) Call it a pity party, or whatever, but today I feel like I’m good for absolutely nothing.

Thanks again for your prayers. I’m also praying that your Christmas season (yes, I said Christmas, it’s my blog) is blessed. And it’s time for me to lay back down. God bless you.

Category: Site News

Post Sleep Study

Hi kids. Good to be back home for a while. I got back from my sleep lab a few minutes ago. Took me forever to go to sleep, about an hour and a half. I thought with a sleep aid like Ambien that you would just go right to sleep. Apparently, that just wasn’t the case. Then, after I am SOUND asleep, I was woken up by the technicians. You see, when you are hooked up to a CPAP machine, there’s also a small humidifier hooked up to the machine too so your nose and mouth don’t dry out too much. And I was congratulated by the tech, because for the first time in her experience (13 years), she actually had someone roll over, tip the humidifier over by yanking the hose, and having all the water run down the hose, through my mask, and onto the bed. Folks, when I screw something up, I do it right. And yes, if it makes you happy to say that I wet the bed at 38 years old, go ahead. But please remember that my bladder was not involved in the accident. Afterwards, the tech woke me up and told me it was time to go home. Like any medical field technician, what they were able to tell me wasn’t much, but they did tell me that they worked to a good pressure where I got REM sleep. And, contrary to what I was told by one family doctor, REM sleep IS important….so I’m hoping that we got one variable in the equation solved. Next step is the hemoc/oncologist appointment I have this afternoon. Can’t wait to see if they want that bone marrow biopsy…not something I’m looking forward to. The really annoying thing today, though, is my ear. Last week I was prescribed antibiotics, and it still hasn’t been cleared up 100%. Although the pressure isn’t as bad as it was before, I get this wonderful little crackling/popping sensation when I swallow. At least I could sing at church last night. If you go to Cornerstone (or even if you don’t), and you didn’t go to church yesterday, you missed the sermon of the year. Pat went yesterday morning, and told me that I better bring Kleenex with me. Well, being a male, I thought she was overdramatizing. Turns out she wasn’t. I won’t go into all the details, but part of the highlights include showing where in scripture Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a donkey was predicted to the day, and some personal memories of his adopted dad, who has passed on. I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say that when I left, the only dry eyes in the house were the leaders of the church up front, waiting to pray and give comfort to people that needed it. Call it male ego, call it whatever…but I just couldn’t handle going up front. In fact, I arrived at Baja Fresh for dinner about 30 minutes later, and could barely talk enough to give the cashier my order. Anyway, I am monitoring the Cornerstone web site to see when they post the sermon. When they do, I will post a direct link here on my blog. Even if you don’t go to Cornerstone, I would pray that you would listen to the sermon. If you’re an emotional person, just make sure you have a lot of Kleenex handy. And if you’re not, you probably lean a bit more toward the analytical side. No problem. The analysis of the prediction in Daniel 9:25 should be enough to keep you interested. If you can’t wait for the analysis, I’ve researched some links…click here, here, and here. On a personal note, I’m getting out of town for a few days. Don’t worry, I’ll be back here Thursday night, but I’m just going to get away from the house, email, and everything else as kind of a retreat. I’ll still have my cell phone, so if you know me that well, you can still reach me if needed. Time for me to get moving with my day, including buying a new headset for my computer and filling out more paperwork for another doctor visit. God Bless.

Category: Site News

Is this really something to brag about?

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!
Category: Site News