Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pain & Stupidity


It all began as a minor pain in the back on a morning in early June and I had thought nothing about it. I've had had lower back pain since I was a teenager that usually went away after a few days. But today was different and going to work was part of the natural habit I had grown accustomed to.

I was scheduled to see my doctor in a couple of days for my regular check up and would mention it to him during that visit. He told me it was part of the aging process ( I could have figured that out myself instead of  paying dearly for that type of diagnosis, at least less than the $140 office visit cost) and he decided to send me for x-rays on my lower back area. An hour later I was in a contorted position on a hard rock table (my back already hurt so that made it even worse.) Luckily the x-rays took less than 20 minutes and I was on my way home. My doctor already scheduled me for a return visit to discuss the results of the x-ray.

So a week later I went back to get the results and sure enough the items causing the pain was degenerating disks and arthritis. Not exactly what I wanted to hear but now I'll have to deal with it. So my doctor set me up with another doctor (specialist) that would be able to administer some shots in my back to hopefully alleviate the miserable pain from the herniated disk. This all seemed to be a bit of good news, however the appointment was for the END of August! Doc, its mid June and what in the hell am I supposed to do with the miserable pain to the END of August. The Doctor was kind enough to prescribe some pain pills to hold me over. HAHAHA.

So now its July 10th and while watching TV, I begin to notice my breathing is becoming more and more labored. I had thought it might have been something that I ate for dinner that just wasn't sitting well. An allergic reaction of some kind. Well that wasn't it at all. I called by brother with panic in my voice and he had me explain exactly what was going on. As I was telling him my symptoms, my breathing was getting worse. Walking 1 step made it worse! Needless to say we hung up and the ambulance was at my door minutes later. The professionals of the ambulance company administered oxygen but that just wasn't doing its job. My breathing became more labored as the seconds went by. They had another breathing machine on board that seemed to help my breathing but we just weren't out of the woods just yet. After a 3 mile ride to the hospital at speeds only a professional NASCAR driver could achieve and maintain around the corners, we finally arrive at the emergency room. My brother was waiting outside of the emergency room doors and when the ambulance people opened the doors, my eyes had tears of hope that this wasn't going to be the last time I saw him. My worries began to subsided as the emergency room experts were do everything in their power to save me from whatever breathing problems I was having. The told me my color was a shade of gray and the next color would have been blue. Not my favorite color. They removed the mask from the machine that the ambulance attendants originally put on me and put on bipap/cpap machine to ease my breathing problems. Within a few minutes, I was breathing a whole lot better and less labored. The machine was pushing out the fluids from my lungs because my heart wasn't doing that function for me. The diagnosis at the emergncy room was that I went into Congestive Heart Failure.

I went to the emergency room at around 7:00PM and the nice administration folks at the hospital set me up in an all expense paid (minus the deductible) room for a few overnight stays under the big watchful eye of the attending head nurses ( by the way, I owe them dearly) at around 2:30 AM. After a few hours sleep, I was seen by my normal physician, my cardiologist and some new pulmonary specialists who now want to be your best friends and your newest mortgage/car payment payers. I recovered quite quickly so while I'm in the hospital with no place to go, I asked my doctor to see if the doctor if he was sending me to to stop by and check out my hip while I was captured in the hospital. The hip doctor finally arrived on a Thursday morning and gave me a good work up on my right hip. Unfortunately the pain was emanating from the herniated disk for which he could not help me while I was at the hospital. He did write me some new prescriptions that were a lot stronger than the original ones my doctor wrote out in June. I was released the next day on Friday the 13th of July. So with the new pain pills it was back to work on Monday. These new pills made me a little groggy as I could feel myself walking side to side just to get to the bathroom! Unfortunately the pills eased the pain but not enough to keep me comfortable throughout the day. It was on an afternoon that I finally said enough was enough. I called my brother and he came to my workplace and off to the emergency room again. Now the emergency room at the hospital I go to has 2 sides to it. One for critical patients (life threatening, the side I was on when I came in not breathing) and one for non critical (non life threatening, splinters, scraped elbows and lower back pain) patients. You guess which one I went to? You've all been to emergency room so you all know how long it might be before you're actually seen by someone looking like a doctor in a white smock. We made it through that visit faster than you can say Super cala fragalistic expialidocious! But i did get a better prescription for pain pills.

The emergency room doctor also prescribed physical therapy for my back. During my next visit to my regular doctor we went through my condition (emergency room, physical therapy etc) and it was at this time he put me on temporary disability. He even made a phone call to the doctor I see on AUG 29 who is going to inject me with his magical serum and make my pain go away. Guess what: he is on vacation and wont be back until next week. So that's were I stand today, out on disability taking mind altering pain pills (not that there is anything wrong with that except driving!) waiting for a doctor who hopefully hasnt been drinking shitloads of Capt Morgan  to return to work to hopefully put me back on the mend.


Now here is the reason I think I went into Congestive Heart Failure. I had just ordered a refill of my heart medicine from The Walmart Pharmacy on the Sunday before I went for that lovely ride in the ambulance. Normally Walmart is very accommodating with refilling prescriptions. I normally would have received a phone call from them alerting me that my prescription was ready. I didn't get that call. I got call on Monday telling me that my prescription was on back order and wouldn't have them for a few days. Well guess what, I didn't have those few days. Not taking that particular prescription for those few days is what landed me in the hospital with Congestive Heart Failure! Let this be a lesson and don't always trust your pharmacy to have your medications. Walmart is no longer my pharmacy even though it closer to my home. They will NOT do that to me again.

So here is all that I ask. Don't be an idiot like I was. When you are down to a weeks supply of any medications you need to take, please make that call to the pharmacy. Please.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

I want to tie flies, What materials do I buy..

This is a question often seen on fly tying/fishing forums. The obvious items would be a vise, bobbin holder, scissors, whip finisher etc but you should also find 5-10 flies you want to tie. Check out the recipes. Buy the  materials listed in those recipes. These materials now become the building blocks for many future flies you may want to tie. If you are a new tyer, its obvious you cant go out and buy every tying material a fly catalog has to offer. Use that GOOGLE function thats comes on every computer and sign up for every free fly tying catalog you can find. 

There is no one catalog to rule them all!

Something that is also of great value will be to take fly tying classes from your local fly shop. These guys have been teaching fly tying for more years than you have probably been alive so they do know what they are doing. Teachers will sit down with each tyer and explain what each and every tool has to do with fly tying. Tyers on You Tube simply will not do that with you, they simply tie flys. Teachers have many more reasons to use this material over that material and will teach you about he different materials to use or not use. Some You tube tyers will have your head spinning faster than Linda Blair spitting up pea soup in the Exorcist movie! 

Tying lessons will reduce the learning curve drastically.

I'v tied for 30+ years ad I'm not ashamed to take a lesson every now and then or even attend a fly tying seminar. I could spend hours in front of a famous tyer at fly tying/fishing shows just to learn a technique. I try to attend tying seminars somewhere in the local New England are at least 2-5 times a year. (Sometimes my job as a submarine designer just wont let that happen and I dont like tying while on the road at different assignments). So I pay out the $75-100 bucks per lesson/seminar but the wealth gained is much more valuable than the money. 

Sorry for the rant. I was just trying to help.

We Could Use a Little Rain....

Pray for a little rain!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Popper Painting Ideas

Walking through my local Rite-Aide pharmacy (waiting for a prescription to be filled, honestly) and no way embarrassed about walking in the fingernail aisle looking for popper painting material ideas (as some men claim to be), I spied some fingernail stickers that would have great potential on poppers, the possibilities would be endless. Using some of these stickers sure would add another level of silliness to my already painted poppers.

Here is some more good example that could be used on the back of some poppers