Posts Tagged ‘Real life’

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Xmas in the desert

December 27, 2013

Dad was interested in seeing some photos today, so I took one of the xmas cactus as I have no proper tree. On the bright side, decorating this one doesn’t result in a dead tree every year.

Personal 009Just the string of lights I added to it on a whim last year; it’s not that spectacular. Sue tells me it’s understated. I think she’s just being nice.

Anyway, with some time off I also entertained the neighbor’s cat today, who is not enjoying the windy day and the cold night. It’s not below freezing, but it’s cold for us!

Personal 005Mudbug enjoying the la-z-boy and his favorite blanket too. He wants to move in, but there is no litter box and there will be no cat food. Besides, I know where his real home is; it’s right behind mine. He’s just too bad a cat to stay there apparently. So, he gets to hang out until he gets to be a pain here and then I kick him out too.

So, not doing much for the holidays, and that’s all right. The weather has not been conducive to much yard work, not that there is much to do. After last winter, it’s mostly taken care of with minimal maintenance. The fancy term is xeriscaping but for me, it means less yard work.

 

 

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I wanted to be wrong about this

July 25, 2013

This gives me a cold sweat just to think about it, but I’m actually sad to see this appear in the news.

Annually, about five million patients stay in an intensive care unit in the United States. Studies show that up to 35 percent may have symptoms of PTSD for as long as two years after that experience, particularly if they had a prolonged stay due to a critical illness with severe infection or respiratory failure. Those persistent symptoms include intrusive thoughts, avoidant behaviors, mood swings, emotional numbness and reckless behavior.

Yet I.C.U.-induced PTSD has been largely unidentified and untreated. When patients leave the I.C.U., said Dr. O. Joseph Bienvenu, a psychiatrist and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Everyone pays attention to whether patients can walk and how weak they are. But it’s the exception for them to be screened for psychiatric symptoms like post-traumatic stress or low mood.”

Now critical care specialists are trying to prevent or shorten the duration of the mood disorders, which can rattle not only I.C.U. patients but their frantic relatives.

So there’s a million or two folks, each year, that may be suffering from PTSD from their experience. It beats being dead, I know. Been there. But still, not nice.

I spent a month in the hospital trying not to die from respiratory failure, that was chalked up to a viral pneumonia (still don’t know what caused it). Been long enough that I can’t remember the specific terminology but I think it was characterized as ARDS. I was also not taking any care of my health, so I know I brought it on myself to some degree. A month lost, took a while to recover enough physically to function, but it took a year to recover in my head.

“I.C.U. patients have vivid memories of events that objectively didn’t occur,” Dr. Bienvenu said. “They recall being raped and tortured as opposed to what really happened,” such as painful procedures like the insertion of catheters and IV lines.

The I.C.U. setting itself can feel sinister to patients, as if lifted from “The Twilight Zone.” The eerie, sleep-indifferent lights. The cacophony of machines and alarms.

I can recall one specific instance of nearly jumping out of my skin one day, when a radio program played the noise of a ventilator and I mistook it/recognized it as something out of a nightmare. Crazily enough, it was understanding that it was a ventilator noise that helped – the realization that these nightmare visions had some basis in reality, however distorted. But that’s just the most vivid experience I can recall, while awake…that was months after the hospital stay, those sedation drugs were long gone. I still feel sometimes, irrationally (and I know it), that some part of me died there and I lost something essential. That’s nothing compared to the folks all too willing to offer interpretations on what few details I did let spill to anyone at the time.

I don’t want to say more about it. Certainly not going to share this on Daily Kos like my gun violence diaries; better that nobody or almost nobody reads this. Even if it was in the NYT. But I have more evidence, more understanding. I wish that felt good, but it doesn’t. It just…is, and I don’t want to forget. The understanding, that is. Some parts of this I will never forget.

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Back to life

July 8, 2013

2013Vaca 057Well, the week off is over and with it my trip back east for the 4th of July.

I was a bit more of a shutterbug this year, although I am increasingly aware of the practical limitations of the camera when compared to everyone else’s smartphones. I may have to give in and get one of those myself, although it’s not as if I take a lot of pictures any other time. Then again, with a more portable camera maybe I would.

Anyway, this one above is my favorite, although there are some nice ones in the bunch. The link will go to a slideshow of my vacation pics on Photobucket. There’s also a few from last year in my library there, too. So it was a nice week, and I’m not particularly looking forward to getting back to normal work-life tomorrow, but that’s life.

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Photos and updates

May 13, 2013

Been awhile since I posted anything new up here. Sorry, but sometimes real life takes precedence, and in this case work’s been real busy. Draining. Anyway…

Personal 006Although it may be difficult to tell, this is a picture of Mudbug visiting the house again. He’s sort of peeking out. I don’t know quite why he did this, but he seems to really like the blankies on the futon/couch…

Personal 005…and since the blankets were piled on top of the couch, he climbed up there and half-buried himself in them and snoozed. My neighbor’s cat really wants to be a housecat, I think. But they keep tossing him outside (probably because he’s bad) and so he wants to hang out with us.

Personal 003Such shiftless bums cats are. So, I don’t need a pet. Not that I want one, but instead I have visitors. I also spotted him outside hunting a lizard for fun, but he wasn’t interested in this one…

Personal 007Found this indifferent fellow on the back porch today, perhaps warming himself on the concrete, or perhaps snacking on the nearby ants. I don’t mind the lizards eating bugs before they get in the house. I only mind when they break in, and occasionally they do sneak inside. But this one wasn’t concerned with me or Mudbug, and the cat didn’t go after him, so…maybe the last one tasted bad.

Anyway, still out here doing…nothing much, but hopefully in a few weeks I’ll get a slight break from the work madness. Till then, I must instead embrace the madness.

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Sad day for a fan

April 14, 2013

I was playing some Deftones this evening when I found this news, that the Deftones’ former bassist Chi Cheng died this morning.

After a car accident in Santa Clara, CA back in 2008, Chi suffered major injuries. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. This accident left Cheng in a coma.

In 2010, the musician showed improvement, responding to commands and moving his legs. After showing more signs of rehabilitation, he was moved to his home for recovery.

Cheng died last night at 3am in the hospital.

I have followed his story for some time now, on the site they built for the purpose. It’s a shame to hear of his sudden death, no real information as to why it happened. Sometimes people will write a little R.I.P. diary on Daily Kos, but I think I won’t this time…it’s late, and maybe not the right place for it anyway.

Well, his music survives, and continues to entertain, to make people happy…could do worse, in this life, than making folks happy.

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Got some catching up to do

March 14, 2013

Although I am still writing pretty regularly on Daily Kos, things are getting busy here and I have less time to spare. Plus, it’s only going to get worse for the next few months. Yay! Well, busy from work is good at least. So, I intend to catch up on my republishing the DK diaries here when time permits.

As for Daily Kos, I’ll keep posting up on weekdays until things get so busy that I can’t even do that as much, which is liable to happen by next month. Shouldn’t feel too bad about it, it’s just my small part to keep the issue of gun control alive and in conversation; even if it’s mainly a counterattack against trolling gun enthusiasts.

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A winter wonderland, it’s not

February 21, 2013

Snow 001

Snow on the little barrel cactus in my front yard this morning. There was snow here on Wednesday, in town, which doesn’t happen very often at all. On the mountains is one thing, but in Tucson we don’t get to make snowmen (not that I would want to). So, the snow was interesting enough to take a few pictures.

Snow 004

The backyard had much more leftover snow; it all melted during the day today. The streets were no issue at all. Although a co-worker of mine who lives up in the northern foothills mentioned snow on the streets and snow thick enough to measure in his neighborhood.

Snow 002

I have trouble getting a good view of those mountains to the north from my yard; this is the best I could do. On my morning commute I got a much better view of snow-covered mountains from head to toe. Of course, during the day most of it melted. But this snow is good for us. Snow on the mountains means water that will take a while to trickle down later. It’s the kind of thing we need to help stave off the drought…although I think this region will be drought-stricken for the duration.

Anyway, that’s what it looked like this morning. Yesterday, on Wednesday, we had blizzard conditions it seemed (briefly) during the day and then more snow at night. I got some shots of what was left, but during the day it looked impressive. Snow is usually just something we see on the mountaintops — nice to look at, perhaps visit, but it can stay up there. Leave it to the weather to bring me the one thing I miss the least from PA on my birthday!

So, yay, I’m older, and all that rot. We had ice cream cake today. Having survived another spin around the sun is a reasonable excuse in this society, I suppose.