Thursday, September 30, 2004

This is life . . .

Went and saw Garden State in the theatre last night -- I think I'm going to rate it a 9. I want to watch it again before confirming this number, but it was very, very good. Nothing completely surprising, but just quietly enjoyable. A few pacing problems probably a result of inexperience from this first-time director. This is definitely one that I will be owning on DVD.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Spotless Minds

I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night -- rated it a 9. It is one of Jim Carrey's better performances, i.e. he doesn't overact and grab all the attention. The editing is amazing, and I really enjoyed many of the suttle special effects that help put you in the right frame of mind. BTW, I highly recommend watching this a couple times so you can fully follow what is going on. It's a little hard to follow the first time, but VERY worth it -- think "Mememto"-ish.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Delayed Litho update

I apologize that I did not report the outcome of my lithotripsy any sooner. It's just that I started feeling so much better, and I wanted to focus on increased recovery as fast as possible. So the basic outcome of the procedure is that it was successful. Low-down on the details: I went back to the hospital and got drugged up again. They don't put you completely under anesthesia for this, but I did get Valium as well as some other relaxing drug. Then they put me up on this table that has an opening across the middle. Basically you are situated with your butt hanging down so the "machine" (which I couldn't see) can have easy access to your kidney or the area where the stone is at. Above me they used an x-ray-like device to pinpoint exactly where the blockage was. Then, they just start pounding. At least that is what it felt like. A little, blunt hammer tap-tap-taps away at my back. This goes on for about 40 minutes. If the pain starts to bother me, I just raise my hand, and the nurse comes in and gives me more drugs through my IV. If I remember correctly (which of course is hard in my drug-hazened memory), I raised my hand like 3 or 4 times during this. When I got home, I slept for 4 hours just to get all the pain medication out of my system. I had a little naseau for a few more hours, but after that, I started feeling terrific again. I mean, almost back to my normal self! So, long story short -- instead of one big stone, I now have a bunch of little ones. And for those of you playing the home game, none of them have passed yet. But at least I don't feel any pain, and right now that's a big relief for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Update from the doctor

I got the call. They are scheduling me for the lithotripsy treatment Thursday morning. I can't wait for this to be over.

Medical Update

Well, this kind of stuff I wouldn't normally publicize on an open forum like this -- however, many people are going to be asking me the same questions and I really don't think I can tell the story more than a couple times. So long story short -- I have a kidney stone. It started last Friday just after dinner. Justin and I had a nice meal at Panzon's and decided to take a quiet drive out to our land in Linn County; about an hour drive. I was driving my car, and started to feel some pressure in my back. At first, I thought it could just be some sore back pain. Then, I began to think that it was some of the mexican food we ate. By the time we got to the development, I had Justin drop me off at the restroom. Nothing spectacular happened there, but I did feel a little better. We drove to our lot, took a look around, and then started home. I made Justin drive on the way back, as the discomfort was getting progressively worse. We tried stopping at some more restrooms, but that didn't really change anything. By the time we got home, I was really miserable. I thought that just lying down would help, but when my mom saw me, she and Justin agreed that I needed to go to the hospital. Nothing I did would make the pain any better. I kept trying different positions, but it was just a constant burning in my back and side. Plus, I was having bouts of naseau that just made everything worse. While sitting in the ER waiting room, I threw up my dinner, which did help my naseau. They finally got me into a room and started an IV. Once some demerol got into my system I began to feel much better. They wheeled me down to CT and the cat scan showed that it was definitely a kidney stone. The good news -- this is very treatable. The bad news -- it is 7 mm. Keep in mind that by this time it is about 1am Saturday morning. The standard procedure for a kidney stone is to treat the pain with narcotics, drink a lot of fluids, and try to let the body pass it normally. They told me that with the larger size of my stone, that it may not come out by Monday, and if so, I was to follow up with a urologist Monday morning. Most likely, they would try a lithotripsy treatment -- which involves using ultrasound to break up the stone into smaller pieces, so that it can pass more easily. Anyway, by about 3am I was pleasantly drugged up and on my way home. Saturday seems a blur now. The codine was keeping the pain manageable, but I didn't really have a lot of energy for anything. I know I sat around and napped a lot, but don't remember much else. Sunday morning rolled around, and the nausea was back. I couldn't keep the pain medicine down. I couldn't keep any fluids down. Which meant the pain came back in a bad way. We decided to go back to the ER and hope for a hospital admittance. We got to the ER around 11, and by 3ish I think we were in a room. They put me back on demerol with another drug that was supposed to help the nausea, and at least the pain was manageable. They told me that the urologist would contact me Monday morning to schedule some sort of procedure to hopefully fix me up. I have mixed feelings about hospitals. It's nice to be in a place where you can just press a button and get some help, but the smells and the sounds all night are really kind of eery. In the end, I think I prefer to have my remedies at home if at all possible. Plus, the food was really awful. Anyway, Monday morning the doctor came and talked to me. He said he was going to send me to x-ray so he could get a look at where the stone was at this point. He hoped that if it had moved far enough down, he would put me under and try to remove the stone with a cystoscope. If it was still too far up the urethra, they would put in a stint to help relieve the pressure and follow up later with lithotripsy. Around 11:30 Monday I went in for the procedure. I don't even remember being wheeled into the operating room as they had me so drugged up before the anesthesia. Anyway, it turns out the stone hadn't moved very far. So they just put in the stint. Now I am at home. The pain is much less, but there is still some discomfort. They want me to be on antibiotics for a few days to make sure and clean out any possible infections. I should be getting a call from the doctor today to find out next steps. In the meantime, I think I'll go take a nap now.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

House Status 1.2

Well, Justin spoke with the builder today and he's still waiting on the city to approve the engineering plans (grading/sewer/electrical). Once the plans are approved, they can actually build the sewer -- which he hopes to happen sometime this month. Then they have to finish the sewer, run electrical, and make driveway curb cuts before they can actually start on our house. So, nothing has really happened yet. But we are hopeful that something will happen eventually. On a side note, the poker tournament went really well. I'm not biased or anything, even though I was the one who won. ;)

Friday, September 03, 2004

I need a hero

I saw Hero in the theatre last night -- rated it an 8. It is as visually beautiful as the trailer hints at. The story is not bad either. I consider it much better than Crouching Tiger was, and this movie has the added benefit of not enduring too much hype. The editing gave the picture a sort of anime feel, and the use of color was so pleasant I will have to go see it on the big screen at least one more time.