“I couldn't live a week without a private library
- indeed, I'd part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor
before I'd let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.” ― H.P. Lovecraft

Whistling In The Graveyard: April 24, 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005

When am I gonna learn to keep my fucking mouth shut?

So they shut the fucking cable off today. This has a lot to do with the fact that we owe them about three months worth of bills. The fact that we owed them had a lot to do with us not having the money to pay them.

On Monday we would have been able to make a payment. This is Friday. If they’d waited till Monday we wouldn’t have to pay a reconnect fee. But they did give us three months worth of back bills before they shut us off.

It’s just that the timing sucked.

Anyways, they’ll schedule us to get our channels turned back on next Tuesday if we give them $217 on next Monday. I can have it, but I can think of better things to spend it on. Particularly when it comes to internet service. See, when I discovered this morning that my cable was gone I hooked up an old 56k dial-up modem and logged into a free service a buddy of mine hooked me up with and if anything it’s FASTER than the service I was paying Charter communications for. This is because Charter SUCKS.

So it’ll be a pain not being able to use the net and the phone at the same time, but it’ll be less of a pain than paying Charter for shitty service.

I’m also going to try and dodge the reconnect fee by mentioning that it’d be cheaper to just sign up for Dish Network. Nobody thinks I can do it, but I have been able to keep all the other utilities turned on this long using my Jedi mind trick. I don’t think it’ll be too hard to convince them to let me off when I explain that if I go to Dish Network then I’m not going to pay them the back money I owe them.

Can I do it? Stay tuned and find out! In the meantime I’ll be online, just a whole lot less than I used to be. If you need to contact me urgently just call me. If you don’t have the number e-mail me.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Damn it all...

As though I didn't have enough problems in my life I've just been handed a new one.

Mom found the insurance slip for the car the other day so I went to get it inspected today. I took it to a friends place and they kinda 'pre-inspected' it. Well it's a damn good thing we did that because I'd have driven away with a 'rejected' sticker instead of the expired one I have now.

The right-front wheel is bad. I knew that, I have a spare to replace it. And not one of those crappy little doughnut spares either, I have a real tire. I don't trust those cheap-ass spares and you guys shouldn't either.

I have a few small rust holes in the body. I hate thet they're there and I want them fixed, but I don't have the money right now.

Those things I might have gotten overlooked, but they also found holes in my floorboards and a rust hole in the frame on the passenger side.

Hole in the frame = major problem.

Those of you that know me from reading this or in person know how much I love that car. I would rather have broken an arm or leg than have a hole in that frame. I'll heal, cars don't.

Maybe I should put my copy of Steven King's 'Christine' back in the glove box...

Still, it's nothing that can't be fixed, but it'll cost money. I would wait till I was healed up and working again, but I need the car to get around and get Nate to and from work. It's still drivable, but I can't get it inspected.

I think Mom is going to cover it, but it still fucking sucks. I hate asking her for money, especially after all she's spent to help me already since I've been sick, but the car is something of a family heirloom and since I'm already going to spend the rest of my life trying to pay that back I might as well get the car fixed too, but it still fucking SUCKS.

So I'm going to have to drive it as-is till I finish my transcriptioning class and then take it to the body shop that Big John suggested to me. I'd rather take it to my cousin Eric, the best auto painter I know, but he doesn't really seem interested in doing it. I can't really blame him though. It's tricky working for relatives sometimes.

So this is pretty much the lowest point in my life. But then, that's nothing new. With few exceptions, every time you read this my life is a little shittier than the last time you read it. It could be a lot worse, hell, by rights it probably should be worse, but you'd think there would be the occasional 'up' to somewhat balance out the 'downs'.

The scary thing is that I SHOULD be depressed, but for some strange reason I'm not. In a way I'm very happy and content, but I've studied enough psychology to know that I only feel that way because I'm denying my fear and anxiety. I'm repressing all the negatives and that's not good. I really don't know how much more I can take before I hit the bottom HARD.

Now I'm gonna go play some Splinter Cell and kill some motherfuckers.

Stay tuned. Things are surely gonna get worse.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

So I went to Charleston yesterday for the three-hour seminar I had to sit through before they’d even consider talking to me about surgery.

We get there at 8:45 AM. It was nice to see that I was one of the thinner people there. Little did I know that would be the best news I would get out of the seminar.

See, the doctor, who I was told did the stomach band surgery I wanted only does the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

See, I’ve never been thin. In all fairness, I’ve never been anything but fat. I was starting to get in shape working at my most recent job, but then I got sick. I lost some weight being on an IV drip for 15 straight days but I lost as much muscle as I did fat. In any case, I’ve put it all back on and then some since I’ve not been able to do any physical activity for the last 3 and a half years.

So I need to get the hernia fixed in order to be active again, but in order to get the hernia fixed I need to lose a bunch of weight.

This is called a ‘Catch 22’. It seems to be the governing rule in my life.

Catch-22
noun {S or U}
An impossible situation where you are prevented from doing one thing until you have done another thing, but you cannot do the other thing until you have done the first thing.


So I was very disappointed to find out that they didn’t do the procedure I’d gone there for them to do, but I stay for the rest of the seminar because, well, I was already there.

Before they do the hernia repair I need to lose a substantial amount of weight. More that I can lose with diet and exercise. This is mainly because I simply can’t exercise. The hernia won’t allow it. Even if it did I couldn’t lose the weight before the hernia becomes critical, so the doctors all want me to have weight loss surgery. Problem is, the one they want me to have is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

The gastric bypass involves cutting a small chunk out of the stomach, approximately the size of your thumb and leaving it attached to your esophagus. This is your new stomach. The rest of your stomach is joined to your intestine so it still puts digestive juices into the intestines but it’ll never see food again.

Now first off, I feel that my intestines have been cut on all I care for them to be cut on. More in fact. So I’m not thrilled at the prospect of having them cut on again, especially when you consider that one in every 200 people that gets the surgery DIES. That’s right, goddamn dead. Of the ones that survive, one in 50 has major complications.

Considering all that I decided to get a far less invasive, less life-altering and only slightly less effective surgery where they put a plastic band around your stomach. The upside is that is for whatever reason it’s causing my body problems they can just take out the band. If the bypass goes bad I could be stuck with that goddamn colostomy bag for the rest of my life.

So according to the surgeon, the gastric bypass will eliminate approximately 85% of your body fat, where the stomach band eliminates only 50%.

Know what? I can live with 50%. 50% is enough to get my hernia fixed so I can get on with my goddamn life.

But all that crap isn’t what discouraged me. No, what discouraged me is the fact that in order to get Medicare to pay for weight loss surgery you have to see a nutritionist and stay on their diet for a period of time so the doctor can document it and if at the end of that time you don’t lose weight you can have your surgery.

I had anticipated that. What I hadn’t anticipated is the period of time the doctor needs to document your diet.

11 months.

Now, for those of you that are new to the story, I’ve already been sick for 40 months. Well at that point I just lost it. There is no way to fully describe the level of depression that hit me. I felt like my heart had been doused in icewater. I could have just laid down and died. Everything I’d been through, all the progress I’d made, all of it was gone. I was looking at another YEAR of waiting. I can’t do that. You might as well fucking shoot me.

But what’s really scary is how quickly I recovered. I went from suicidal to comfortably numb within an hour. That’s not normal. In fact, that’s manic-depressive. I know, I’ve seen it firsthand.

So then I have another minor panic attack when I realize that my sanity is showing outward signs of it’s deterioration, but almost as quickly as it came on I didn’t give a shit anymore.

It’s a fun ride, lemmietellya.

So my one option at this point is to call around to some doctors and find one that’ll tell Medicaid that I need this surgery right now. This shouldn’t be a problem since I really DO need it right now. It’s just more hoops I have to jump through. Will my stomach and my sanity make it through without taking any more damage?

Probably not, but stay tuned, it should at least be interesting…