Sunday, October 30, 2005

Minor Blog Updates

As those of you who have been visiting for a while may have noticed, I changed the weather sticker to a different provider, Intellicast. While I like the Weather Underground and I thought the Wisconsin state flag sticker looked cool, for some reason that image wasn't loading on my home computer, probably due to one of my various ad-blocking software settings. Also, Intellicast is a very good weather site (we use a pay version of their products where I work) so I don't mind giving them a free plug. Another good source of free weather information is the Weather Channel, but they have a few too many ads for my liking.

Speaking of free plugs, I have added a link to Sue Rabeaux's Cat Ranch in my links section. She lives in rural Louisiana and helps find new homes for abandoned animals, both cats and dogs. A link to her store is listed on her site, and I can testify that she makes very nice gift baskets, since I bought one for my Mom last year. All proceeds go towards animal care costs (food and veterinary expenses.) Whether you want to buy anything or not, though, it's an interesting site worth checking out.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blog Break

Blogging will most likely be rather intermittent for some time for those few of you who are checking in here. But I haven't forgotten about my blog, I just have some other stuff going on...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Intoxicated State

Another post about Wisconsin culture for you all to enjoy. Actually, as much as I might make fun of some aspects of Wisconsin life, I really do enjoy living here, other than the long-ass winters. Have a good weekend and drive safely, everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Update from a Lazy Blogger

Sorry for those few of you who may actually be reading this blog not to have made more entries recently. Through doing some creative shift trading at my job, I managed to get five days off, and I used my airline benefits to travel to California over the Columbus Day weekend. Since I don't have a laptop, blogging was not the first thing on my mind (although I did log onto the internet at one point to check my email and see how Magazine Man's recent trip went.)

While I was gone, I did think of a couple new things to blog about, as well as a new multi-part blog series. Per Thimbelle's recent suggestion to write about my work, I've decided to chronicle the different airlines I've worked at over the years. It won't be as long a series as my Hospital Chronicles, but it should be fun. Look for more updates this weekend!

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Hospital Chronicles Part IX: A Voluntary Experience

OK, for those few of you in the blogosphere that have been following these chronicles, this is the end of them. And yes, there was a Hospital Chronicles Part XIII, but I've chosen not to blog about it. As AJ said on his blog recently, "Some stories are not for mass consumption." I think I'll leave it at that and get on with this story...

For this episode, we will fast forward approximately ten years from the ski crash incident to last year, in September. Since this was the first time ever that my presence at the hospital was planned, it felt a bit strange. Of course, since it was me, there were bound to be some bureaucratic snafus, and this time was no exception. I showed up at 1:30, and they complained that I was due there a half hour earlier, even though they had called to confirm my "show time" was 1:30.

Also, I had arranged for a friend to drive me home after my surgery, but the anesthesiologist was all worried about me spending the night alone in my apartment, so I called and left her a message not to worry about picking me up, that I'd be spending the night at the hospital. Then my surgeon found out I had arranged for a ride and got mad at the anesthesiologist and told them I *didn't* need to spend the night at the hospital...but I found out all this after my surgery, when I'd already told my friend not to come pick me up. After yelling at the post-op nurse and calling my surgeon via his office, I did end up spending the night there, although I didn't really need to other than the fact I wasn't supposed to drive after general anesthesia.

The general anesthesia was kind of strange, I remember someone saying, OK, you're going to feel a bit drowsy! And then BOOM, the recovery room. I didn't have any "groggy" feeling at all when I woke up, perhaps due to being mad about the communication mix-up over my staying the night there.

I went into the hospital to get surgery to correct a condition known as otosclerosis that I inherited from my father, who had inherited it from his father. Some gifts keep on giving! The surgery I had done was known as a stapendectomy which involves replacing one of the bones of the inner ear with a man-made substitute. The old bone in my case was removed with a laser. I'm not sure how it was done when my father had his surgery, but I think the laser is a relatively recent development. In my grandfather's day, the surgery didn't exist.

The bone involved (known as the stapes bone) is really tiny; as an example, depending on how big your monitor is, the last character in this sentence is probably bigger than the actual bone was: |

In my case, the surgery went very well, and I now have normal hearing at spoken frequencies in my right ear. A lot of people at work have noticed the difference, although nobody said anything about me being hard of hearing until I said I was getting the surgery done. I guess everyone was being polite. I have thought about getting my other ear done, but the condition isn't as bad in that ear so I'll probably wait a while before I do that. While this surgery has a very good success rate (over 95%) there is some risk involved (any time someone points a laser at your inner ear, I guess that's inevitable.)

This concludes the Hospital Chronicles, leaving me in a quandary as to what I'll blog about next. However, I'm sure I'll think of something soon. Until next time, stay safe, everyone.