Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Strange, but true...

Another quality business establishment brought to you by the residents of Wisconsin. Yes, this place really does exist. Yes, I've been there. An accident waiting to happen? I'll let you decide that one.

Monday, December 19, 2005

In Which I Attempt To Imitate Someone...

For those of you that have been following this blog for a bit, you probably know that I am a big fan of Magazine Man. In fact, it was his encouragement that got me started actively blogging. While I realize this blog hasn't been the most active recently, probably due to my hesitation in sharing personal stories with the internet, I am trying to keep plugging away. I doubt I'll ever be as engaging a writer as MM, but I do have a few interesting tales to tell...and this is one of them.

Fans of MM will probably be aware of the fact that he is a bit accident-prone at times. As the readers who followed my Hospital Chronicles series know, I have had my fair share of them as well...and this last couple of months has been a reminder of my tendency in that department...

I was lucky enough to get Thanksgiving off this year...lucky in the sense that, as an airline employee, there is work to do every day of the year in my department. We do get eight floating holidays in lieu of actual ones to use as extra days off, so it's not all bad, but it is nice to be able to spend time with family around the holidays once in a while.

I drove down to my sister's house for Thanksgiving. My Mazda MP3 did quite well on the road, although I've been having some CD player issues recently. I made it to my sister's house last year as well, but I had to drive down on Thanksgiving day, thus missing their annual neighborhood tradition of a touch football game in the morning. This year, I did make it for the game, and about five minutes in, jammed my toe hard into the ground. Although it was sore, I kept playing for the rest of the game...since I thought at worst I had sprained it. Later in the day, it looked really bruised and was still sore. I didn't confirm it until a week or so later, but it turned out I managed to fracture not just one but BOTH of the bones in my right big toe. As my sister's mother-in-law observed that evening while observing how purple my toe was, "That's what happens when grown men play games." Fortunately, no casts or drastic measures were required other than taping my toe every day for a few weeks.

I left Wednesday and came back Friday. The drive back was in a snowstorm, and while my car isn't the greatest snow vehicle ever, it does have front wheel drive. I made it back to Cheeseland slowly but without incident, even while driving with a sore toe. In keeping with a personal tradition, I made a stop at the Mars Cheese Castle on the way home. The roads didn't get really bad until I left there. While they weren't much help with telling me what the road conditions would be like, they do have tasty free cheese samples.

About a week after my Thanksgiving trip, I flew home to visit my mother in Albuquerque. I was hoping to help out with stuff around the house and yardwork, but Mom didn't really have anything for me to do. I wouldn't have been able to do much, anyway, since my lower back started bugging me the day after I flew home. Since I didn't know any doctors or chiropractors locally, I just ignored it, which was the WRONG thing to do. I forced myself to fly back home Saturday, even though my back was hurting, since I was working Sunday. This wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done either. When I woke up the next morning, I could barely get out of bed. In fact, I couldn't get out of bed without being in extreme pain, and walking only added to the problem. I ended up calling in sick, which I hate doing.

My chiropractor couldn't see me until the following morning, Monday. As I was to find out, I'd really done a number on myself, almost herniating a disc in my lower back. I had another doctor's appointment with a podiatrist later that same day, where he confirmed that I did indeed have a toe fracture via x-rays. According to my chiropractor, favoring one leg over the other probably contributed to my current back issues.

After my toe appointment, I decided to go to the immediate care area to get some advice from a regular doctor regarding my back. After having me futilely attempt to touch my toes, and checking my reflexes, he prescribed me some painkillers and strong anti-inflammatory medicine, and asked me if I was working that day. "Yes, I'm going into work in about an hour," I said. The doctor replied, "No, you're not."

I actually ended up calling in sick for the next TWO days, which were spent lying down with an ice pack on my lower back most of the time...I finally made it back to work on Wednesday, although I was still fairly sore. This is the longest I spent away from work since my ear surgery last year, but sometimes it is best to get your doctor's advice. On a positive note, both my regular doctor and the chiropractor encouraged me to visit the other one...that is, my regular doc said a chiropractor could help me out, and my chiropractor thought it was good that I saw a regular doc to get the anti-inflammatory medicine. I think it's a good sign for the state of medicine today...back when my Dad was going to doctors for his back, visiting chiropractors was generally discouraged by the regular medical establishment.

As regular MM readers are aware, he's had his own share of back issues over the years, and as I told him in a recent email...when I told him I felt like he was my blogging mentor a while back, I didn't intend it so literally. My back is feeling better now, although it's still a bit sore...in fact I am making up a chiropractic appointment tomorrow that I missed earlier today due to my battery problems, so I'll probably get scolded for that, but oh well.

Regular blog-checkers here now know why my blog seemed rather dead for the first part of the month...per my doctors advice, I was trying to limit my time spent sitting down while I recovered. But now I'm back.

Cold

Something always happens every year when it gets cold up here to remind me just HOW chilly it can get. Last night after work, my car battery wouldn't start my car. Since I got off work at around one AM, this wasn't much fun. Fortunately, we have maintenance people on duty overnight, and I was able to find someone with jumper cables. Since I just had on my "driving/walk to the car" gloves instead of my heavy-duty gloves, though, I was feeling mighty frigid by the time we got the car started...seeing as the wind chill factor was close to twenty below zero. So today, it's off to the auto parts store for a new battery prior to going to work. A new battery is one of the few car maintenance tasks I feel entirely capable of handling on my own. And later this week, a "heat wave" of sorts is coming through and the temperature might actually climb above freezing! Of course, they're also forecasting freezing rain that day. Winter here does definitely make you appreciate the summer. I don't know how Packer fans manage to sit through the games this time of year at Lambeau.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Just A Post

Nothing huge going on right now, but I wanted to make a post to get back into the habit of POSTING on this blog. I think part of my problem has been, I want to make every blog entry a major story, a big event...when, after all, it's just a blog. I need to stop trying to compare my blog to other blogs...eventually, I'll find my own voice here.

Nothing earth-shattering going on. My annoying neighbor with her annoying yappy dog has moved out, so silence reigns again next door (for now.) I have a relative travelling up to see me later this week, so that should be fun. I told him to pack warm.

I may or may not have a major announcement to make later this week. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: No major announcement forthcoming right now. If anything changes, though, I'll be sure to notify everyone who reads here (so then, all three of you will know.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Inactivity

I haven't been posting. And what can I say? Except that I've been really busy. Insanely busy for me. If I haven't been working, I've been out of town. If I haven't been out of town or working, I've been out of action due to my back bugging me. However, I am back in cheddar land now, and my back, although it is still bugging me some, is starting to feel better. So, look forward to a couple posts over the next few days, those one or two of you who still check this blog's feed.

I feel kind of guilty for not doing anything with the blog recently. Not that it was ever huge, but I had a tiny following, and then I disrespect those individuals by posting absolutely NOTHING for 10 days, after I pledged to update at least weekly. I'm sorry. All I can say is, lower back problems are no fun.