Context Is Everything

9556224_origMy dentist is a good man and very good at his job. But I don’t really like  the whole ventriloquism thing I’m forced to do while lying in the chair. He always asks me questions while he’s jamming a mirror and pick down my throat so I can’t possibly answer. But he keeps doing it  anyway so I’m compelled to try to throw my voice. It never works.

I went to see him this week and it all happened again like it always does. Then it got weird. He started hitting on me. Or at least he said a few things that, heard out of context, would make you think he was. Things like…

“Hmmm, impressive, nice and pink and firm.” (actually said while inspecting my gums, but sounding like he was checking out some young woman’s fancy parts)

“Feel free to go to sleep, as long as I can crack you open and scrape your teeth” (after I mentioned I wasn’t fully awake yet)

That is the cleanest mouth I’ll probably see all day…” (well, er, thank you very much, Doctor, I think…)

No I don’t think he’s a perv, but I don’t think he hears what he sounds like to his patients. Then again, he does have a very weird job, cracking people open all day and scraping their teeth.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!


That about sums up the last 24 hours. There I was in bed sleeping, minding my own business, when all of a sudden my foot starts to blow up. Woke me up at 3:30 am, all swollen and hurting like hell. WTF?! I hadn’t done anything to it, hadn’t fallen, tripped, smacked or kicked it. What the hell was going on?

Psuedogout. That’s right, PSUEDO-GOUT.  Apparently, people who have recently had surgery on a joint (hello! ankle and knee here!) often have  calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals show up, which in turn causes said joint to blow up and inflict intense pain.

It’s just like regular Gout, but without all the fun of gorging on steak, lobster and beer for years and years and years.

I had to go downstairs and ice the thing from 3:30 am – 6:30 am before it calmed down enough for me to sleep. Doc said the intravenous fluids during the surgery were the most likely cause and that it should go away on its own. Otherwise to come on back for a cortisone shot.

Right now it’s about half the size it was, but still tender to walk on. Hopefully there’s nothing more to see here, show’s over, move along. Still,  can’t help thinking, WTF is gonna happen to me next?!!

Recovery: Life’s Been Kicking My Ass – Now It’s Time To Kick Back

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Marianne Williamson

Look around my living room and you’ll see the evidence: crutches, walker, wheelchair. There’s a handicapped parking permit on the way as well. I am down for the count, won’t be able to walk for six weeks, and work is out of the question.

Thank God for State Disability Insurance.

It’s going to be a while before I can resume my regular life, and besides the doctor visits and physical therapy, I’ve got some time on my hands. How to spend it? There’s the TV. Netflix, Vudu, Hulu are all just a remote control away. I could just sit here and get caught up on everything. Even start some new addictions.

But what would that get me? More mid-life angst about not pursuing my dreams, more shame over squandering this gift of time, more worry about the ticking clock of my life. I’ve always been haunted by the thought of being old in that rocking chair, not having made the most of my talents and opportunities, feeling regret over the things I didn’t do. Carrying my music to my grave. So maybe now is the time.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve done okay for myself. I’m solvent with a good day job, I own my home and have my financial house in order. I provide for my family and we’re okay – not wealthy, not fancy, but reasonably secure.

But there is a gnawing hunger in me for more. Not more things, but more accomplishment. I worry that if I died today I would be quickly forgotten by all but my friends and family. That is not enough to justify the life and abilities I’ve been given.

Now is the time to make something more of myself. To do some creative work, take some chances, and unleash it on the world. Continuing to playing small will not make me happy when I’m old. I need to swing for the fences now while I still have enough life force left in me to step up to the plate.

So here it is. I’m going to build some new habits and challenge myself to produce something. I’ll start with this here blog and see where it takes me. I’m going to fight my fear and perfectionism and put something out there for the world to judge. And if in fact it is good, and it turns out I have something to say that people want to hear, then maybe doors will open and new and exciting things will come into my life. But if it doesn’t, I still win. I’ll be able to sit in that rocking chair and know that at least I went down swinging…

“You Know You’re Crazy, Right?”

Yeah, I know. That’s what I told her. My wife. When she poked her head in my office just now and said, “You know you’re crazy, right?” “Yeah, I know.”

What could I say? It was 4:55 am. I was pulling an all nighter again. I didn’t mean to. It just happened. I got through the whole day and night and hadn’t gotten in here. But I just had to, so then I did.

So I’ll be shot for tomorrow. My day won’t get started til very, very late. There’s lots to do and not enough time, and I’ve just sacrificed half the day.

But I just had to get in here. Because when I don’t, I fail. I can get by with little sleep, but I can’t afford to fail. And now you’re all caught up…



Yesterday was quite a day. They rolled me into the operating room about 7:30 am – from there my memory just didn’t record anything. Next thing I know I’m in a recovery bed, my wife at my side, and my leg all bandaged up. It’s 10:30 am, two different doctors just operated on two different parts of the same leg, and now I’m about to go home.

But first I have to make the clock on the wall stop jumping around.

If you’ve ever been under anesthesia you may know the feeling. My brains had been scrambled and they were trying to make a comeback. Took about an hour, three cups of water and a bag of animal cookies (no, not the frosted pink and white ones with the sprinkles, but the plain dry ones, and not from the lion cage box either) to clear my head, then off in a wheelchair and back home.

The crutches are a hassle, but the pain is quite bearable. They found more problems than they saw on the MRIs, but they cleaned them all out and my prognosis is good. Physical therapy starts Monday…