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I’ve been reading Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese. It’s a fascinating history of how humans have come to use and rely on the power generated by burning coal. It’s got a bit of an environmentalist bent to it, but I’d highly recommend it!

In my reading, Ms. Freese mentioned something about a ‘killer fog’ event in London during December of 1873. While trying to find information on this event, which is hard, I found something else:

The Killer Fog of ’52

No, I’m not talking about The Fog or its crappy remake!

Between Dec. 5-9th 1952, London was trapped in a fog (or smog, if you will) of epic proportions. Trapped by the inversion layer formed by the dense mass of cold air, the already horrible air pollution became toxic and killed as many as 12,000 people in London.

“The lips of the dying were blue. Heavy smoking and chronic exposure to pollution had already weakened the lungs of those who fell ill during the smog. Particulates and acids in the killer brew finished the job by triggering massive inflammations. In essence, the dead had suffocated.” — NPR: The Great Fog of ’52

Accounts of survivors in a BBC article

A bit more reading from the Met Office file on the Fog of ’52

Fifty years later, people don’t talk much about this event. It’s become a blot in the pages of history. But its impact changed the way people saw the environment and how mankind has polluted it.

Although steps were taken to clean the air in London (and the Earth as a whole, with the Kyoto Protocol) some 20,000 in England alone suffer shortened lives each year do to air pollution.

Just imagine if this happened in Los Angeles. Or New York City. Or Chicago.


Contrary to what someone might think, I haven’t forgotten this blog.

No, it is Winter here in Oregon and my yearly depression had set in full-force. Granted this usually lasts until March or April, only to knock me on my ass around my birthday in May, then disappears into the Summer “I hate the HOT!” Blahs.

I swear to God, one time my doctor told me I would wake up one day and never not be depressed again. I think he was right.

I will not start singing “Hello darkness, my old friend”, as that is lame.

Instead I will say I honestly don’t know what to write in here. Yes, the medical articles I’ve written are extremely popular with Google searches and have brought me far more traffic than I ever expected to this lowly blog. But those are hard to do. A lot of the science I find interesting doesn’t really make for a joking atmosphere. I’ve tried to write an entry on the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 but it’s not a fun topic.

Instead I’ve contented myself with watching Discovery Health on TLC and learning about really fucked up diseases and conditions that I want to write about but have to broach with kid gloves because they are really hard to take.

Perhaps inspiration will strike. I guess I could talk about Costocondritis. I bet no one here has heard of that.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G is Contagious to Your Health!

So. It’s 2007. I’ve had this blog for a week or so now… and I’ve noticed something. The most hits I’m getting are on the Plagues, Pestilences, and Other Plights columns I did for Inside Pulse in 2005.

I must admit, I did have a lot of fun doing those. Granted, it was short-lived (less then five months, tops) and I rarely got feedback that people were reading. With WordPress, I can tell people are actually showing up!

And they’re reading mainly my articles Bring On the Clorox! (all about diseases you can catch via improperly washed towels!) and The Little Mermaid Syndrome (which is about Sirenomelia and everyone seems to be looking for Tiffany Yorks! Thank you Tiffany!) but today Plagues At the Movies! took a surge in readership.

I dunno what that says about me. Of course I am the girl who wrote a paper on Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in order to graduate high school, even going so far to contact the medical authorities in New Mexico for information. (They were extremely helpful! Thank you!) I read medical books for fun; not the text books, mind you (damn, they’re expensive!) but books on plagues and medical disastors and historical texts about dramatic medical events in world history.

And I wonder why I can’t get a date?

Since, from the stats, the anecdotes I write about my life are just not garnering me the attention I demand need… I’ll delve back into a subject I totally dig!

The folks over at have a wealth of information for you to peruse at your leisure. In fact, they helped me with many a column back in the day. Being as they were the inspiration for Bring On the Clorox! I decided to head back and see what might spark my interest for today’s topic.

Boy howdy, they haven’t failed me yet!

Did you know you can possibly catch at least five diseases from kissing?

And I’m not talking your saliva here! (Saliva you can catch at least thirteen, and that’s only including one of the ones on the kissing list!)

Let us review!

With such a big name, you think it’s deadly. And yeah, it is to your sex life. Cytomegalovirus is basically Herpes. A very rare form, as classified by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Cytomegalovirus affects less than 200,000 people in the US. (Apparently the rest of the world is anyone’s guess?)

Also known as Human herpesvirus 5 (HHV-5), Cytomegalovirus belongs to the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily of Herpesviridae. It also has one of the most stunning name meanings I’ve ever come across! Cytomegalovirus means “cell very big virus”. God, that is so deep and astute. I’m totally astounded by that definition!

Moving on. CMV (because I’m tired of typing that word) is incurable. Pretty much the standard for any virus in the Herpes family. CMV attacks the salivary glands, liver, spleen, lungs, eyes, and other organs. Once these are infected, CMV causes production of characteristically enlarged cells with intranuclear inclusions. It is also known to cause birth defects.

There can be no symptoms with CMV. Or you might feel fatigue, fever or flu-like symptoms; Lymph glands may swell or you might develop a rash.. CMV also might be discovered if you have Hepatitis, Pneumonitis, Retinitis or a Mononucleosis-like illness.

Downside, just like the fact CMV is incurable, is the fact there are no treatments. It can go dormant for periods of time but return when it damn well feels like it.

Genital warts
Aww, jeez, if you can’t figure this one out, I can’t help you.

The simple explination is they’re warts. In the genital reigon. A recognized sign of Human Papillomavirus (HPV); doesn’t mean that you have warts when you have HPV, though. Some people never show signs.

There are various methods of treatment. None of them are permanent or cures. Warts can be treated with topical creams and ointments, or some choose to have them burned and/or frozen off. (Ouch.) Or even better, lazer or surgical removal!

Seeing as I’ve already covered Neisseria gonorrhoeae before… It’s a sexually transmitted disease. If you paid attention in health class (or in sex ed, but who does during that?) you’d know “The Clap” is curable. Painful, especially since the bacteria can wreck havoc in the mouth, genital tract, and rectum. Doubly worse for a woman, who can end up with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), infertility, or an ectopic pregnancy.

Once again, the list of 41 symptoms of Gonorrhea for those of you not paying attention last time I went over this! Treatment is still the same; a single strong dose of Ceftriaxone, Cefixime, Ciprofloxacin, or Ofloxacin.

Hepatitis C
The disease with Pamela Anderson as its poster girl is listed as something you can contract from kissing. Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne virus, transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. Now, I’m guessing this involves kissing someone with a bleeding cut or open wound… which I’m sure there are people with that fetish out there. Otherwise, why this was listed in the “contagious from kissing diseases” section is really beyond me.

There isn’t a cure for HCV but there are hundreds of clinical studies looking for one. The symptoms of HCV do not always lead you to believe you are infected. Tests can confirm it. HCV, the third of the six Hepatitis viruses, can cause liver inflammation that is mostly asymptomatic. Chronic hepatits can result in liver cirrhosis and cancer. HCV is pretty much the largest cause of liver transplants.

I’m guessing what applies to HCV applies to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Being as this virus is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, using your mouth on other things in a “kissing” fashion (god, this is murder trying to phrase this and not get slapped with a mature content warning) is a dangerous idea with someone who is infected with HIV and/or AIDS.

Granted, you’re not likely to transmit HIV through saliva. While there are trace amounts of virus in the saliva, tears, and urine of someone who has HIV/AIDS, the concentration is negligible compared to blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, or breast milk. You’d have to drink a gallon or more of an infected person’s saliva to even run an actual risk of being infected. Please do not attempt this!

The signs and symptoms of possible HIV/AIDS infection do not mean a death sentance. Advancement in treatments and clinical trials are prolonging lives and continuing the search for a cure.

Since I mentioned the 13 contagious transmissions from saliva, I thought I’d throw in one of them for fun!

Cold Sores
Everyone knows about these painful red blisters that show up at the most inappropriate times ever! Always on the around the mouth and nose, on the lips, and (believe me, my mother’s living proof of this) sometimes inside the nose, cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1).

There is no complete all out cure for cold sores; this is a form of Herpes and there’s certainly no cure for that! There are topical medications to treat the cold sore and spead the healing. Just remember, don’t put your mouth on someone when you have a cold sore, or share drinking cups or anything else that could result in facial contact with the disease. Cold sores are indeed contagious!

So, there you have it. Six different reasons you shouldn’t put your mouth on other people. In any way, shape or form. Bet you’re all regretting that kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve now!

I’ve been trying to think of something to write. And a lot of my memories are more… snippets if you will. A lot of the crazy things that happen to my family are more “you had to be there”, because they just don’t translate into type.

And some of the strange things that have happened to me, I’m just not at liberty to share. C’est la vie.

Today was my last physical therapy session for my left arm. I have three lovely stitches popping, the kind that are supposed to dissolve and they’re quite the painful little buggers. The asisstant is not in at the doctor’s office (see, the PT clinic and my doctor are right next to each other, adjoined by a bridge over a small gully with a creek) so I can’t have them removed til Tuesday at the earliest.

This triggered a memory, which is actually more of a really long story I’ve retold several times in my life. Mainly because if you saw me today, you’d never ever know unless I told you.

As a child, I was the chubby kid. It comes from my father’s side, really. That and being a truly picky eater. But something you cannot predetermine is what can be controlled by exercise and what is genetics.

You know the girl. The one growing up that is already far beyond endowed then any other girl in the class, let alone the school.

Yup, that was me.

Early on in life, probably in elementary school, I heard there was a surgical procedure that could reduce the size of these things (I wasn’t fond of using the actual term at the time) and would instantly make my life a lot less hellish. I figure I was around 8 when I heard about it.

But I said nothing. I didn’t even know how to broach that subject with my mother. I mean really, how do you say, “Please take me to some doctor and have these huge pieces of flesh cut down!”

I have a condition known as costochondritis, which amounts to have a form of arthritis in the intercostal tissues that connect your ribs. As far as I can figure, it hit me full-force around 7 (that’s another story) and really flares up in times of stress. There’s no true way to understand the amount of pain unless you physically experience it. Last Christmas, for example, I thought I was having one long heart attack. (Nope, just a costochondritis attack.)

Between the ages of 14-16, these got increasinly worse. By this time, I was measured as a 44DD. Yep, a 44DD bra at the age of 14. Much to my misery, believe me.

Shortly before I turned 16, the pain of these attacks, combined with the weight on the front of my chest, was turning towards back problems. I was very much hunching over to hide myself; I would get very self-conscious about these damn weights hanging from me. Unbound by a bra, they practically went to my knees.

It certainly wasn’t my fault I was cursed with these genetics, but to feel utter disgust at your own body is a rough thing to endure.

At the doctor’s office, discussing my worsening back pain, my doctor grew quiet. “You know, there is a procedure called a ‘breast reduction’. Have you ever considered that?”

I about fell off the examine table. I nearly screamed “DO IT! DO IT NOW!” but I was a little more restrained. After years of bottling up my desire to have said procedure done, it all came pouring out of me. I think I shocked the doctor and my mother on how much I already knew.

The first doctor mom and I checked into was a woman who practiced on the East side of Portland. Her office looked like it had literally been lifted out of Beverly Hills and set into the some-what worn hosptial building. We were ushered into a room and I was told to strip the top half of me and pictures would be taken.

Cue confusion.

Pictures were taken, photos of previous paitients were shown, very little discussion about repercussions or what would actually be done was made. It was like she had already operated on me and was just waiting for the insurance company to cut the check.

We were shown the door, looking dazed and confused at what had just happened.

A few days later, the insurance company called the house. They were confused as to why a doctor had just filed a claim, saying I was to immediately have this procedure, stood 5’6, and was age 21.

At the time I had barely turned 16, and I stand around 5’3, in my heeled boots.

The woman doctor had attempted to lie to my insurance to get them to pay her. God only knows what kind of botched job she would have done on me. Mom immediately informed them it was all lies and we put everything on hold.

I was miserable. My dream seemed snatched away.

School ended for the summer. We had a funeral to attend, a woman who had been like an adoptive grandmother to me. After the service we were talking to her daughter. Somehow my problem came up.

“Oh,” she said, grinning. “You want to see Dr. Busby. He did my procedure and I’m sure he could help you. They call him ‘no-scars’.”

Hope renewed, we made an appointment. I believe it was in June. We were welcomed in to a nice, warm office. No minimalist and coldness like the other office. Shown to a room, the doctor came in and greeted us.

He discussed the procedure, why women have it done, the risks and benefits. He showed me several albums of pictures, before and after of his patients. I wanted to cry. I wanted this done tomorrow!

Because I was only 16, I might be told I had to wait. Major surgery on a body still growing is risky. Seeing how miserable I was, how huge I was, how my health problems had started to mount, Dr. Busby said he was willing to operate.

I was taken in and shown a video about the prodecure, the before and after, and what risks there could be. Due to the size I was, and depending on how much they would take away, I wouldn’t ever be able to breastfeed.

I told them I didn’t care. I wanted to be healthy, and happy. If I ever did decide to have kids, that was a really long way off and I could deal with the consequences.

I think we went back for one more visit before the deal was made. In July I would get my wish.

In the nearly ten years since this was done, and considering I didn’t have a journal at the time, I’ve written and told this story several times. Some of the details are now hazy.

I remember we had to be there at 7am. We’d had dinner at Red Lobster with my godfather and his wife the night before. No food allowed after midnight. I’m pretty sure I slept. I wasn’t scared at all.

At the hosptial they checked me in and made me down a tiny antacid pill. A nurse attempted twice to put an IV in my arm, but ended up putting it in the back of my right hand. The nurse knew a kid I went to high school with. No one at school except my best friend knew how I was spending my summer vacation.

I sat around watching the funeral of a Portland police officer on the TV in the ward. Eventually the doctor came in and drew all over my breasts in green pen where he would make incisions, what would be removed, and everything else he would do.

That was a little odd.

I waited around some more. Finally it was time.

There’s something unnerving about laying in a bed and being wheeled down long, gleaming hallways with huge florescent lights overhead that blind you. We reached the OR and I had to scoot over to the table. Most undignified in a hospitial gown.

Someone asked me if I’d ever been to Disneyland. I don’t even know how we got started on that. I was talking about it, they put the mask over my face, I breathed in, I was out…

My own groans awakened me in the recovery ward. I kept putting my right arm above my head, sound asleep, and setting off the moniter that was watching my blood pressure. A nurse kept coming over and putting my arm down, but I kept doing it.

Some guy in the next bed over, seperated by a curtain, was talking on and on about a motorcycle. I kept drifting in and out. I could tell there was something extremely tight wrapped around my chest but I didn’t care.

Eventually I was awake enough to be moved to the room I would spend the night in. It was policy to spend the night. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t argue. An orderly barely 18, male and cute, pushed my bed up to my room.

That was embarassing. I looked like hell and just had my boobs done. Lord.

For the next four hours, any time I tried to move I puked. They made me get up to use the bathroom, which is procedure, and I puked.

You do not understand that your center of gravity changes drastically when you have this surgery. My head was spinning and I couldn’t balance for love nor money. (I have fantastic balance and this frustrated the hell out of me to no end. Also, I hate throwing up.)

Finally I lasped into sleep and the puking stopped. Mom settled in to watch the five channels on the TV and I dozed on and off. Every hour on the hour a nurse would appear and bug me, asking about pain and checking me over.

That night was one of the worst nights in my life. I wanted sleep but they were just doing their job, checking to make sure I wasn’t going to explode or fall apart.

My departure the next day was held up. Dr. Busby was late to remove the bindings and bandages, the drains that were to collect the blood and fluids. I was impaitent. For the first time in my 16 years I could cross my arms over my chest. Granted it was akward, being as I had mummy-like bandages around my chest, but I could do it.

Don’t ever take that simple act for granted again.

Eventually he arrived. One of my drains had basically wiggled its way loose during the night. Thankfully those were hospital sheets. He checked everything, all the sutures and stitches and signed the release papers.

If they would have let me I would have run out of there, I was so hyper and excited to finally be rid of my source of pain and self-consciousness. But they don’t. I had to be rolled out in a wheel chair.

But I was free.

It took nearly a year before the swelling subsided. For a while I thought he had just stappled rocks onto my chest because that’s how hard they were.

During the healing, one of the stitches that was supposed to dissolve popped through. It had to be pulled, which was a simple visit to the doctor, but that damn thing was painful. The stitches in my elbow reminded me.

In case you were wondering, he cut roughly 500 grams and a little more of tissue. From both. That’s over a pound of flesh from each. (Where’s Shylock?) It is amazing the difference two pounds make.

At that time I went from a 44DD to a 42B. I was the youngest patient he had ever performed the procedure on. And he really was ‘no-scars’; they’re there but you would have to know where to look. I’ve had no complications, a full recovery, and they’re basically the same. I’m probably a C now, but still. A C comapred to a DD?

I’d never go back.

Considering this blog is less the five hours old, there’s no way you could know I had surgery on my arm less then three weeks ago.

Being a child of the 80’s, I grew up on Nintendo and Sega and video games at arcades. When we finally got a home computer when I was 10 or so (Funny, I used to be a Mac girl, but somewhere I ended up with a godforsaken PC. Please pity me.) I moved into computer games. Mostly things involving “Sim___”, not really anything that required a controller or involved much violence… but still computer games.

My computer addiction grew worse when my parents finally allowed the internet to grace us around 96/97. I think one of the longest times I spent on the internet was 17 hours straight, not counting when I actually got up to get a drink or something. I did my share of IRC chats, RPGs on IRC, teaching myself to code basic HTML pages by picking apart already coded sites…

I should have known I’d pay for it down the road.

Last year, my left pinkie started going numb at random intervals, and only a fair amount of shaking and yelling at it would revive the circulation to normal standards.

At my most-steady temp job, I do a lot of computer work. Like, 8 hours solid of data entry, if there’s enough for me. Which sucks, but then I like my job because I’m not bothered, I’m left alone, and I’m appreciated for my efforts.

During this last temp session, something went horribly wrong.

In September I started having trouble. My pinkie would stay numb far longer then normal, no matter how much I yelled, threatened, or begged it. It spread to my ring finger. My forearm ached like no tomorrow and I found myself physically forced to slow down on the computer work.

Which frustrates me.

A break to take a week-long cruise through the inside passage of Alaska gave me temporary reprieve. My arm felt better, back to normal by the time we returned. A computer-less week had done wonders.

The second week in October my pinkie went numb and stayed that way. A few days later, my ring finger followed suit. I began to panic.

X-rays revealed nothing more then the already known fact that my bone is shorter then normal, due to the fact I broke my wrist and busted the growth plate when I was 2. Makes for a lovely bunch of arthritis on top of carpal tunnel and the most sick cracking noise when it really gets over-worked but certainly not the cause of the scary numbness.

I spent a week in misery, in so much pain my arm felt like it was burning underneath my skin. Which made me itch my skin, when my skin was not causing it, leading to more pain. Celebrex was found to give me that “ut oh, bad side affect! Immediately stop taking it!” reaction (which, honestly, is the truth with almost 98% of any medication I am given) and I suffered. Lo, did I suffer.

My pain tolerance level is actually insane. So much so that a former pediatrician of mine told my mother to force pain killers into me because I was literally one of those people who can sit around in levels of pain that would make grown men cry. I’m still very bad about it.

But, at this point, the level was so high I wanted to cry. That’s when everyone around me knows I’m very very bad off. A cortisone shot into my wrist relieved my problem but only temporarily. Nerve conduction tests were scheduled. Apparently I had had the same test in 1999; I guess I blacked them out.

For those who have never had the joy of having a nerve conduction study done, it is basically this: they shock you. Repeatedly. In the effected area. Stupidly or bravely, I requested both arms be put to the test. The shocks are recorded via a computer to see how much of a delay there is in the nerve.

After repeatedly shocking my left arm, the doctor did the same set of tests on my right. There was an extremely noticeable difference. “Unfortunately, I’ll have to do the needle test.”

Words you never want to hear.

Basically, they stick a straight little needle into the muscle, make you attempt to move your arm, and record the eletrical signals that naturally course through your nerves. Attempting to move your arm in a resistive type way while a goddamn needle is stuck IN said muscle is a lot harder then you might imagine.

I have to say, the eletrical signals your body produces on its own make the most fascinating sounds. I almost begged for a copy of the recordings. God knows what the hell I’d do with said noise, but then I’m the kid that keeps begging for copies of all the x-rays I’ve had during my short lifetime to frame and hang on my walls as art.

Preliminary findings were confirmed: I suffered a pinched nerve somewhere around my elbow. I would require surgery, the procedure termed as a “cubital tunnel release”. The date was scheduled and I was left to sit around and wait.

Well, not really. I ended up spending the week and a half before surgery moving my grandmother from her home of 30 years to a condo up here. And by moving I mean me sitting around in agony, trying to find a place to sit while the movers stripped the house of its furnishings. Fun times!

Monday dawned dank and grey, as it normally is mid-December here in Oregon. I was due for surgery at 9am, so that meant I had to be in person at the hospital at 7:30am. I am not a morning person contrary to what anyone may believe. Coupled with the fact that I barely slept (which is normal when I’m about to embark on something possibly life-changing) and already dealing with the repercussions of a stressful situation (the move) I was a wreck.

My mother and grandmother accompanied me. Since I have a nice latex allergy, I got to be the first paitent of the day. Joy. I was sent to the day surgery unit and stuck in a paper hospital gown. We sat around watching Sponge Bob Squarepants and early morning news until around 8:30 I was called for. Leaving behind my mother and grandma, I was wheeled into the pre-surgery ward and prepped with the IV.

I had been told they could do what is termed an “IV block” and basically numb my arm and sedate me. This changed, as soon as the anesthesiologist realized where my incision was to be made. I was going to have to have a general and be completely unconscious.

The pre-surgery ward was festively decorated with cut-out snowflakes that resembled the kind you make in kindergarten. My surgeron was discovered to have not yet participated in this activity. He was handed a pair of scissors and a folded piece of paper.

“Do you know how to cut snowflakes?” He asked me, standing there in the doorway.

There’s something extremely surreal about sitting in the pre-surgery ward with a pair of rusty scissors in your hands, cutting wedges and slits and half circles out of the folded lump of paper to produce a one-of-a-kind snowflake for your surgeon just before he slices into your elbow. Maybe that’s just me.

He was impressed with my work. Then promptly signed his name to it and told the head nurse he had participated.

Final preps were made and I was wheeled into the OR. I remember the large overhead lights had orange plastic casings. My doctor was attempting to remove one of the pieces attached to the operating table that would hold my arm pinned to it, and the anesthesiologist stuck the mask over my face to put me out.

I woke up in the middle of a manic giggle fit. I hate those. I apolgized profusely to the nurses in the midst of my giggling for being such an utter moron and unable to control it. This always happens after being knocked out cold; I lose any ability to shut the hell up and talk myself and everyone around me to death. The giggling is relatively new but just as bad.

The man in the bed next to me, apparently having a much worse operation then I, kept setting off his breathing moniter. His name was the same as a character in a beloved children’s book of mine. The character is basically annoying and selfish and keeps demanding a bell-shaped chocolate from the box that technically belongs to Santa Claus.

Of course this resulted in more giggling.

Because I recovered so nicely, and quickly, I was released back to the day surgery to begin my recovery before being discharged. This time I was wise and made myself stay down. The woman sharing my room pushed herself too hard and ended up puking repeatedly (to my dismay) and kept extending her stay.

I slept. My left arm was now pinned inside a plaster and bandage cocoon that would become the bane of my exsistence for the next week. My hand was bright golden yellow from the betadine, so much so that I kept singing the theme from Goldfinger. Stupid anesthesia.

Proving myself fuctional and capable (for the most part) I was eventually released around 2pm. I will not regale you with the whiny drama that was the week I spent frustrated by being trapped in the “splint” that encased my arm. (I had to hide the scissors several times, especially when I would wake from a sound sleep in an anxiety attack because I couldn’t bend my left arm in any way, shape or form.)

The following Monday I was released from my cruel but nessecary prison. The six neat stitches were removed (painful) and I was cleaned up and sent on my merry way to physical therapy.

I am pleased to say that upon waking in the recoery room I found that feeling had returned to my fingers. This greatly elated me that I had made the right choice.

But you’re wondering why I titled this entry the way I did. You see, while in recovery, my doctor came in. His hand on my forehead he pronounced me a success and that there had been an “anomaly” inside my arm, one that in the entirety of his practice he had only ever see in text books. It had been very exciting to him to see one, let alone operate on one.

Being whacked out of my goddamn mind, all I could answer was “Merry Christmas?” as though I had just given him a present.

Turns out, not only was the sheath that encased the nerve doing the pinching, but fibroid-like muscles had also being pinning my nerve and causing more damage. How rare a case of those is I haven’t any clue. My mother is convinced that if I had prolonged surgery, that these would have caused extreme damage and I would have been in far worse trouble then I aleady was.

I wasn’t surprised. It’s not the first time I’ve been “abnormal”.

To date, I have a very itchy but healing nicely incision on the underside/outside of my left elbow. I commented to my physical therapst that I finally had achieved my pirate scar.

“Pirate scars are usually on your face,” he informed me.

“But I am an abnormal pirate.” I countered.

Past, Present, & Future

April 2019
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