April 2007 Archives

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April 28, 2007
Quotes of the Week

Spotted earlier this week... Jeff Foxworthy, on why he loves country music:

It doesn't take political sides, even on things as ugly as war. Instead, it celebrates the brave men and women who go to fight them, the price they pay to do it, and the longing we have for them to return home to the ones that they love.
Country music doesn't have to be politically correct. We sing about God because we believe in Him. We're not trying to offend anybody, but the evidence we have seen of Him in our small little lives trumps your opinion about whether or not He exists.
You can call us rednecks if you want. We're not offended, 'cause we know what we're all about. We get up and go to work, we get up and go to church, and we get up and go to war when necessary.

I do believe I need to listen to more country music.

Now go over and catch the whole video at Hot Air.

Posted by Russ at 05:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
April 25, 2007
The Ongoing Saga

Another MRI looms on the horizon, coming up in about two weeks. It would be sooner, but the only times they had open were at hours during which I am hopelessly comatose due to my being the night-shift guy. Don't even bother trying to wake me up at 9am. Not gonna happen.

The MRI had best not be any later than it is. If it were more than two weeks from now, I would doubt my ability to drive myself to the appointment.

Despite the fact that my dosage of Prednisone has been increased — which has most definitely helped — I continue to lose strength and functionality in my legs. I'm having a harder and harder time going up and down stairs. I cannot stand up unsupported for as much as a minute. I've had to bring a stool in from the garage to use in the kitchen, because waiting two minutes on my feet for the microwave is more than I can do. Walking 12 feet across the kitchen without the use of a cane is possible only because there's sturdy cabinetry waiting to support me when I get to the other side... but even then, I usually rely on the cane.

While all this has been going on, I've been able to exercise a degree of control over my conscious movements. I can — admittedly, with difficulty — make my legs go where I want them to go when I need to, I can put one foot in front of the other as needed. I can still drive, for instance, even though getting to and into my truck is harder and harder to do.

The problem is that I'm losing control of my feet.

If I lose that, I can't drive. If I have to, I can crawl up and down the stairs here. But if I can't drive, I'm completely screwed.

OK, perhaps not completely. My grocery store, for instance, has offered online shopping for the last year or more. You go to the website, make out your list, and they roam the aisles on your behalf. All you have to do is drive down and pick up your order. It's been a big help lately, but if I can't drive...? Well, now they offer a delivery service as well. It's not cheap, but at least I won't run out of groceries.

But if I can't drive... how do I get myself to the doctor? To the pharmacy? To my MRI appointment?

I'm screwed. But I'll make do; there are always taxis, I suppose.

The saga so far:
3/17 — The State of the Russ
3/19 — MRI Complete
3/20 — No Results Yet
3/22 — Anticipation
3/24 — Still No News
3/27 — I Got Nothin'
3/30 — First MRI Results: Diagnosis Delayed
4/3 — Ouch
4/17 — Second MRI
4/21 — Second MRI Results, Sort Of

I should probably set up a separate category for this stuff.

Posted by Russ at 03:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
April 21, 2007
Second MRI Results, Sort Of

After the delay we had getting results from my first MRI, when the phone rang this afternoon the last thing I expected was to hear my neurologist. Not one of his staff, even, but the man himself. On a Saturday. Which, have no doubt about it, got my attention.

The MRI of my cervical spine — they did not, after all, do both my head and neck this week — showed that while there is some slight bulging of some disks, there is no impact on the spinal cord; this is apparently rather normal in middle aged people. Nothing that explains my leg problem was seen.

Now they need to MRI my head.

This is not a good development. Eliminating disks as the cause of the numbness and weakness in my legs means that now we have to look at the more serious possibilities — a tumor, MS, or maybe (though still unlikely) ALS. Or maybe something completely different. I don't know all the possibilities.

It's still not certain, of course, that anything will show up in my brain, in which case there is a completely different testing regime to try to determine the problem, according to the neurologist. I can't imagine what those tests would be.

I just hope they can figure out something. I'm not in the mood and I don't have the cash to have a disease named after me.

And I do need to say again: thanks everyone for your continued support.

The saga so far:
3/17 — The State of the Russ
3/19 — MRI Complete
3/20 — No Results Yet
3/22 — Anticipation
3/24 — Still No News
3/27 — I Got Nothin'
3/30 — First MRI Results: Diagnosis Delayed
4/3 — Ouch
4/17 — Second MRI

Posted by Russ at 06:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
April 17, 2007
Second MRI

I'll be off soon for my second MRI. Maybe this time they'll see what's wrong with me.

[Background here.]

Posted by Russ at 11:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
April 13, 2007
Feline Religion

The only traces of religion I have been able to detect in Mycah revolve around her being fed and skritched.

Her thrice-daily worship services consist of a hymn we all recognize — "Meow" — and the ritual "walking between the feet of the feeder," invariably followed by receipt of food on a plate.

When skritches are the focus, she assumes a supine position, imploring the Great Big Hand to rub her tummy.

She has a very healthy spiritual life.

Posted by Russ at 05:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
April 10, 2007

If you need a DNA test to determine who your baby's father is, you're a whore.

[Rape victims excepted, of course.]

Posted by Russ at 05:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
April 06, 2007
Och Aye

Though I've not been able to make a personal contribution this year, it is incumbent upon me to point out that today is Tartan Day.

Some previous years' entries from Yours Truly can be seen here, here, here, here, and here. The last one might explain how a guy who isn't in fact of Scots origin is involved with Tartan Day in any way.

As she does every year to very good effect, Ith at Absinthe & Cookies is coordinating the Tartan Day festivities. Do go and check her out.

Participating blogs:

Posted by Russ at 06:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
April 04, 2007
Target Practice

Every guy who shoots regularly has a fantasy.

This is one of mine.

Target Practice

Posted by Russ at 02:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
April 03, 2007

Having noticed a rapid and serious decline in my ability to walk since being put on the Prednisone tapering-off plan, I called the doctor last week, and was "rewarded" by having my dosage set to 60mg/day, which I began on Saturday. There seems to have been a bit of improvement — I am walking a bit better already.

I'm still waiting for a second MRI appointment.

And today I had my worst fall so far. It was not the usual "legs giving out under me" fall, though, where I crumple vertically and end up on my hands and knees. This was the full "toppling like a redwood tree" kind of fall; I went over backwards and ended up flat on my back.

I think I might have dented something. Something other than my bedroom floor, I mean. I'm pretty sure I hurt something in this fall. I'm just thankful it didn't happen while I was on the stairs.

Up to this point, I haven't really had any back pain associated with my condition; at most, there were some aches as the muscles in my back worked harder to compensate for the balance problems I've had.

Right now, though, my back feels like Barry Bonds took a swing at it — and connected, right below the shoulder blades.

Codeine, take me away....
Update: the squirrels are here... and they're pissed. Seems their deal to play Vegas fell through; the Chumash indian casino in Santa Ynez, CA is indeed a weak substitute.

On the plus side, though, they've added Hot Chocolate to their repertoire. Awesome.

Posted by Russ at 02:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)