Derick , My employee and friend is fighting for his life. He and his wife just had a beautiful baby girl named Victoria. The cancer he has is extremely painful. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy which we all know makes one feel very sick. Despite his trials , he is more concerned about feeding his family. Read more about his story
It began with a few sinus headaches on 4/5th and 6th and evolved into the flu from that Saturday on. I was tricked into believing that I was getting better by Wednesday , as I broke the fever and the aches and pains were much less severe. I even dragged ass into work for a few hours , but as I was getting to leave , I started getting the chills and that ‘my hair hurts’ feeling was coming on quick. The next few days , back on the couch. I watched a lot of star trek re-runs on netflix. By friday the 13th , the aches and pains went away , fevers were intermittent , but I developed a cough. A dry , raspy and unproductive cough. I lost my voice , my throat was raw , and I couldn’t sleep. I pulled all the muscles in my back from coughing , and every cough shook my head which felt like someone stabbing me with a migraine for those few moments, then having it subside to a dull ache ….then Cough !!! Arrgghhjh…my head …..my throat …. my aching back. Sucking down cough medicine and living on cough drops , RICOLAH !!!! I survived the week , barely.
I broke down and went to doctor on Saturday. It was quite an effort , as I was feeling quite crappy and weak. I have been eating intermittently throughout the week. Sometimes hungry , and sometimes not at all. The doctor listened to my chest , said it was clear. Gave me an antibiotic for the sinus infection (assumed) and the cough medicine with codeine , that just knocks your ass out. They sent me on my way. I went into work despite no changes , and no voice. In fact , just the thought of speaking or having to respond to a speaker sent me into a painful coughing fit. I went in , kinda shut my door , and did emails and paperwork etc; I lasted a few hours , felt like I caught up a bit , and resolved to go back the next day.
That evening , while laying around watching TV , I somehow TWEAKED the tendon above my knee. I wasn’t even doing anything. It may have been a Hard laying around , considering my tenacity in doing so , but I can’t imagine how I screwed up my knee. It was Bad. I couldn’t bend it without shrieking. I could slowly , inch by painful inch , pull the knee closer , to deal with a sitting position , and reverse it to stand up or straighten it out. Good times. That night , between my cough , my screwed up hours of the past weeks sleeping , and my Effin Leg, I was unable to sleep , at all. I started panicking around 4 ish …. I texted Kyle at some point between 4-6ish Am to let him know , I wasn’t coming. I have to go to Dr for my knee. Whatever infection or virus , must’ve gotten into my knee. I currently have a friend/employee going through a painful and scary bone cancer with his knee/leg. Thats probably what I have , Cancer of the knee.
I go to dr , they x-ray my leg. Tell me there is no infection (I didn’t bring up cancer) and that it is simply an overuse sports injury. OVERUSE. I haven’t used the damn thing other than to pee , or shift positions during my hard – laying – around episodes. I still have no voice , so my angry reactions came out as heated whispers , followed by a frustrating coughing fit. She sees no issues with my sickness , going on my word that I probably had the flu and it devolved into a cough / infection and I should be good to go with both my knee and my sickness by weeks end.
I drag into work a few hours here and there. I was asked my itinerary on a daily basis , so I felt obligated to come in. Its not like I had cancer of the knee or anything. We can forgive our afflicted friend for not making it to work , he has some serious things going on. By friday night , I was a mess. Fevers , uncontrollable coughing that left me incapacitated. I had to meditate in a supine position in order to calm myself down from coughing and catch my breath. I felt like I wasn’t going to make it through the night , around 4 am , I finally fall asleep. Saturday the 21st , two weeks and a few days after I first felt sick , I went to a different doctor. I was having a hard time catching my breath , and feeling dizzy. They x-rayed my chest and OH MY EFFIN GOD! You have a Nasty case of pneumonia , thick solid patch on upper right lung , and splotches throughout both lobes. Not good. They gave me my x-rays and sent me to the hospital. I did a quick pit stop home , for a shower , grab a few things , and clean underwear , just in case they kept me. They kept me.
I was admitted and they began IV antibiotics and fluids , breathing treatments ,and they put me on 24/7 oxygen. I looked forward to the multiple times daily blood letting , where they test my blood. I especially enjoyed the young useless moron , whom was tasked with taking arterial blood , to get an accurate blood/O2 reading. He poked me in 3 different sites. Each time he was incredibly accurate in finding the surrounding nerves and poking the shit out of them, sending shooting spasmic pain down the arm to my fingers , and back up halfway to my neck. He eventually gave up and passed the baton ( it was really a needle , not a baton) to an older more experienced nurse who banged it out quick , with only the uncomfortable , unfun , but survivable pinch.
The rest of the extremely long and uneventful week was spent being woken up every few hours for blood pressure/temperature/and blood 02 tests. My hours , still screwed up , had me up til at least 2 am every night , playing words with friends with my midnight princess and texting anyone still up about my docile adventures. They would come in at 4am and WAKE YOU UP , to stick an effin thermometer in my ear. They were also intent on knowing when and how often I peed and pooped. It made sense to count the intake/outake of my liquids but no one nurse/aid consistently followed through. There were so many missed accountings that It became silly and useless to make pretend to bother. I made shit up. LOL. Literally , Yeah I had 7 bowel movements and peed once. Some questioned me , some wrote it down. I lost interest.
I had met so many doctors / nurses / aides that I stopped caring about the questions they were asking because the next one would ask the same , oblivious to the record. The division of labor was a bit extreme. The nurse played with the IV and drugs , the aide listened to my lungs and brought me water , Respiratory came in and gave me the 10 minute breathing treatment. Dietary brought in the food. Ambulatory carted me around to various tests. Xray did xrays , Scan did CT scan , Housekeeping , well they kept house. Two separate doctors , one focused on physical lung/breathing issues , and the other to deal with the drugs relating to lung issues.
At one point I was dealing with DR. Epidemic , who transferred me into an isolation room because they suspected possible TB , despite my explanation of not having the definitive symptoms , nor was I among any high risk groups or activities. Dr. Crisis , apologized on behalf of Dr. Epidemic a few days later , releasing my gang of caretakers from their mandated adornment of masks , gloves , and coats anytime they opened my door.
I will say , all in all , I was well taken care of , but there are definitely some management issues in the health care industry.
I was let in Saturday and finally released on Friday the 27th , 3pm. I wanted to leave the night before as I felt I could recuperate at home. I was losing my mind all day Friday to be let out. I was still out of breath after a brisk walk down hall way , and coughed anytime someone tried to speak to me , but I was off the 02 and switched to pill antibiotics for 24 hours. I was ready to go home.
Well that’s my story. I still am sick , but I am recovering. One good thing to come from this is that I lost 12lbs , Once I get my breath back , I’ll get back to the gym and my hiking and keep it off.
The drone of crickets keep me company as the waning moon sheds light upon me The calmness of night soothes my mind Sweet honey dew collects upon the yielding leaves of grass Soft thoughts and mild dreams relax my brow as the cool fog of sleep clouds my eyes drifting … floating away
DANCING MEN UPON GALLOPING HORSES PLUNDER THUNDEROUSLY ON ROCKY GROUND!
THE SLAPS OF HOOVES AND HOOTS OF WAR – COMBINE WITH THE HOWL OF WOLVES , DOGS OF HELL , HOUNDS OF HUNGER.
THE SPIRITS OF DEATH ARE UPON US! CHAOS CLASHES WITH THE CLANG OF STEEL! CUTTING PAIN SHATTERS THE NIGHT!
………..The warm glow of sun and sweet sounds of morning stretch and soothe my relaxed muscles Cool breeze awakens my dulled senses Blue skies and wispy clouds greet my eyes with pleasure
So there I am , a large grey baby bird , strange-looking and out of place, amongst the other cute yellow ducklings.
Awkward and conspicuous , I attempt to hide under Mother Ducks’ wing. I look up and read her face intently , hoping to find assurance but instead see consternation. My heart drops , again , as it is wont to do when I realize how awkward I make others feel. Later , as I’m eating with my brother and sister ducklings , I notice them staring at me with contempt. I seem to eat so much more than they do , and it shows. I’m almost twice their size yet I feel as small as an insect.
Mother ushers us off to the barn to huddle together on the bed of hay. They all huddle together and inch away from me as the night wears on. I make pretend I don’t notice , but I do. I should be used to the feel of tears , wet and warm on my face , as I lay down to sleep. Bedtime seems to be when I can’t hold back the dam any longer, my mask cracks and the tears flow. I hide my face when I cry as I don’t want the others to see me do so , yet I can’t help occasionally letting out a sniffle or a low sob. Maybe I do want them to know how miserable I am. Am I willing to accept pity in place of acceptance ?
Pulled into my driveway this evening. A sudden flash of movement along the ground … It disappears as my approach restricts the visual angle between me and the ground. I open my car door …and L E A N out …. a little …more …..AHA ! A big fat bundle of ring-striped fur runs into my backyard and amazingly zips through a very small , one slat wide gap at the very bottom of my fence. He immediately turns around and stares at me through this hole , his eyes lit bright from my headlights. I whistle at him to startle him. I retrospectively realize that I used a ‘come here boy’ whistle I would use to attract a dog. Luckily , he disregarded the call and jetted.
I back up my car a bit and shine the brights a few times to make sure he’s gone, and then just park right there. I grab the two bags of groceries , shut my door , and walk around the car towards my front door which is just around the bend. I click the remote to lock my car, Beep-Beep and its corresponding double light flash illuminates another set of eyes !!! ANOTHER RACCOON !! My heart does its own double tap beep-beep and I jump back quickly. But this raccoon doesn’t run away from me into the backyard as I expected. It runs towards my front door which is in a nook , invisible to me at this angle and the rest of the area is pitch black anyway. Shit! What to do ?
I beep – beep again , toss my groceries onto the passenger seat , start the car and pull out of the driveway. I considered leaving. Seriously. I considered abandoning my home for a second. Instead , I pull back even further down the driveway at an angle to shine my brights at the front door area. I have a better angle but not quite head on. Still , It doesn’t appear to be there anymore ; though I didn’t actually see it take off. Or did I ? Now my mind is questioning itself. Did a flash of movement register in my peripheral vision but not provide the degree of sensory proof to convince the rest of my mind ?
Screw it. He’s more scared than I am. I was just startled , not scared. I could kick him If I needed to. Yeah…eff that , I could take him ! Self-assured of my manhood, I shut the car off but leave the lights on and groceries in the car. I tentatively creep up my path and peak around to see if he is guarding my front door ……
WHEW!! Not there.
I quickly open the door , run in and turn on the outside lights. I peak out the front door suspiciously. Then in as cool and casual a manner as I could maintain , I saunter back to the car and grab the groceries. I have to admit , as I got back within a few steps of the front door , I sorta quick-skipped it and hopped back into the house and swiftly shut the door behind me.
Maybe I shouldn’t move to the country.
“Everything Happens for a Reason”
I generally cringe when I hear this statement. Unfortunately it is often uttered by someone describing a particularly trying moment of life , preventing me from lashing out and screaming about the misguided hypocrisy of this saying. If I did thus , for every time I heard this statement , I would be ostracized or beat up or generally despised by the public. I don’t wish for that reaction , so I generally bite my tongue ….literally. Pain has a way of bringing focus upon itself to the forefront. A useful device to be applied in similar situations. Your welcome.
So , I must see if I can particularly divine the true meaning of this statement (EHFAR) , and mentally tweak it , so it causes me less consternation. If I could deceive myself into believing that the utterer actually meant -something less ridiculous – I may avoid the social awkwardness and swollen tongue I experience. I will attempt just that , presently.
So … if the utterer is implying the law of causality , there could be some argument of reason by saying such. We can easily admit that a cue ball hit into another will cause an equal and opposite reaction. That particular something happened for a reason (or cause) . This is a simplified statement but some more abstract ideas could be treated as such. A car accident occurring , whereas one person was driving while texting and the other drinking while driving – and both simultaneously arriving at an intersection , which recently had its stop sign rendered unobservable , due to a similar incident. EHFAR. Cause – Effect 🙂
Unfortunately , that is not the intended connotation of this statement , therefore I must toil further.
More often this is quoted for the benefit of someone who experienced an undesirable event, and the utterer is attempting to provide comfort. The expected response to this platitude is , ‘Oh , you are so right , that makes it all OK’ – the utterer gets to feel good about providing deep philosophical aid to a person in need. The unsuspecting recipient of such wisdom is thus endowed with reassurance that all is consistent in the world.
Therefore , it seems to me , this statement really means that everything that happens , occurs for an overarching purpose. It implies that this particular event , no matter how painful or meaningless it seems , was intended to occur and that its benefit shall one day become apparent to the sufferer. . To follow this thought further , one must assume that there is a purpose-justifier with the ability and omniscience to weave seemingly arbitrary events into a fabric of purposeful cohesion. Let’s explore this.
‘Everything ‘is quite an all-inclusive word. That would require some incredibly intricate planning. Consider all the EVERYTHINGS in the universe INTERACTING with each other every nanosecond …and then each event must fit into this scheme. That would make the word ‘omnipotent’ quite an inept description of this being. Especially when the universe is considered infinite , which mathematically renders this statement impossible , but we should evade such principles when discussing reality. I digress….
Let’s be fair and consider that EVERYTHING isn’t what is intentioned by the utterer of this statement. They probably are referring to some , occasional and particular incidences in a person’s life (applied as capriciously as the Utterer chooses)
Maybe it means traumatic or momentous events such as losing a job , winning a game , getting a job , losing a game. These incidences occur for a particular purpose according to THE PLAN. To coordinate the person losing a job , to his/her benefit , with the person getting that job , for purposeful reason , is an amazing feat. Same applies to the winner/losers of …say , the super bowl. While the winners Tebow in prayerful triumph , the losers walk away , grasping and gagging on this statement. Keep in mind , a football team is made up of 100’s of intensely interested parties , besides the hundreds of thousands of fans , whom arguably may be even more intense and invested. For all this to be DETERMINED and purposeful is absolutely a MIRACLE , which is truly the belief driving this statement .
One must believe that each occurrence in one’s life is a miraculous event. Our recognition of reality , that jobs are lost , and games are won , or more deeply that we are finite and will eventually die must be dismissed as explanation for those things occurrence. We must apply the supernatural to every event in our lives. Our usual method of cognition cannot be used to explain such. One must reason that a miracle occurred rather than some other explanation based upon the laws of physics and reality we know. Believers, even those that are skeptical of this reality , find themselves in another awkward position (religion has a tendency to put one in many such) of having to agree with my hated statement , EHFAR…. despite evidence to the contrary (<—a definition of faith). Disbelief , from a believer , would allow for the existence of a malevolent creator, which is an obviously unacceptable conclusion.
Well … I don’t believe we achieved our intended goal of deceiving ourselves in any way that will allow for us to react politely to the espousing of EHFAR.
I will therefore attempt another tack. I will refocus this statement to more closely resemble nature. Life is generally knowable and understandable , it may even be predictable in some ways. Humankind are wondrous , powerful and resilient creatures. We are strong enough to accept some harsh realities and overcome. Good things happen to bad people , and bad things happen to good people. Yet many events in life , that cause change , can provide the recipient with the chance to adapt positively , or appreciate life more emphatically , or embrace our memories more fully , should they choose to do so.
Instead of relying on someone above ourselves to resolve all our issues, Instead of attempting to discern purpose from life obstacles , or passively accepting them as justifiable , we should attempt to face them and overcome them , as naturally , and nobly as we are capable.
I see you on the opposite bank , moonlit , your beaming face smiles.
As my shadow points your new direction , you turn and walk away.
I yell and scream, but the sound is whisked away downstream.
A moment of crazed frenzy convinces me to jump into the rapids…..
The searing chill swiftly cures my mania. Scared sober,
I swim for all I’m worth , my arms and legs burning
The turbulence overtakes me and im drawn away to the unknown
A dead dove floats past me , its eyes black and empty
Drifting away , my purpose lost to the side I will not reach ,
Soundlessly, I succumb , slipping beneath the waves silently.
Reprint from old blog
Halloween Weekend snow storm caused major damage because the trees still had their leaves , due to such a moderate and wet fall. The weight of the snow accumulating on the excess surface area caused branches , limbs and whole trees to crack and fall , pulling power lines with them. Power was lost for most of Ct from 3 days up to like 7-9 days in areas. The shoreline , which took such a beating from the hurricane , was mostly spared the damage from this storm. I stayed at Charlies for a few days , enjoying the energy his electric generator created. Luckily , Safeside had power because it would have been an absolute disaster trying to deal with the volume of work without computers or phones. Crazy Year
Coverage continued here ….. an interview with Kevin Beary
My car rumbled just slightly for like 10 seconds , I thought something was wrong with the engine and turned down the radio ….didn’t ear anything weird , thought nothing of it , ran my errand and went back to work where I find out there just was an earthquake from my sister texting me. Well …not from my sisters text , she didn’t cause it , ummm… I don’t believe. I found out About the earthquake , from my sister , whom texted me.
Thats my story.
Well folks , you heard it here on the Kasualkafe
First draft and rough outline
An emphatic nod to shakespeare , ovid , milton , wilde , firsova, tennyson, c.s lewis ,socrates and Solomon amongst many other sources , all unwitting accomplices , that provide me with influence , topic conversation , quotations , and some outright plagiarisms.
I walk into the bar , stale beer and that faint smell of throw up greets me at the doorway. I sit at the familiar mahogany bar slab , its solidity is reassuring. I order a whisky and water, and then another. Few thoughts cross my mind at this initial oiling of the machine, but now I glance up and around at the aimless souls who share this dank cave with me. Lots of hardened faces and shifty eyes. No one looks at me direct and if they do , its with a vacant stare. I can tell that I don’t like these people.
A figure passes behind me , a sweet and musky smell of feminine perfume wafts over me , I turn in my seat to see her , but the door shuts behind her before I can catch her semblance. I’m left with a feeling of wanting and of loss. Aroused now , I leap off the chair and rush toward the door. In a moment of hesitation , I pull back instead , and glance out the window towards her. Her dress is flowing behind her , flowery and bright , too breezy of a covering for such a cool night. She walks confidently around the corner of the neighboring store, and I lose her again ..only a quick glimpse of a high cheek bone as she turns, not enough to know what she looks like.
The parking lot is bright , my heart is racing slightly from my impulsive dash outside and sudden exposure to any who look my way. She doesn’t turn around but is strolling past the gated and locked storefronts and heads into the parking lot. I shove my hands in my pocket , and with as much of a nonchalant air as I can pose , I drift in her direction. She is petite , with long brown hair , and a purposeful gait. Shit ! …. there’s somebody looking over her shoulder at me …he’s leaning against a car and it looks like he may be waiting to greet her. I panic …. shit! … I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone , I whirl around and put it to my ear. “yeah , oh hey .. what’s up …. really …uh huh ” I carry on an imaginary conversation while pacing in circles towards a corner of a store building .
I look up to see the couple , she is standing in front of him , one hand on her hip and the other waving about as she speaks to him. It looks like she is dressing him down , his shoulders are sagged and his hands are in his pocket while his head is doing a lolling bob , like he is acknowledging his crime and accepting of his verbal lashing. She now has both hands on her hips , at a slight angle to him. I can only imagine that she possesses a beauty to match her confident stance. I’m aching to understand this woman , If I can only see her face. All of ourselves shows itself in the face , our emotions , our thoughts , how we think and who we are ; Its all there, that is our identity. Now that she is still , I can sort of make out her shape , she definitely has a nice figure , hour-glass like despite her small stature. She holds herself with a slight arch in her back , pushing out her chest and her rear. Her dress clings to her body in the sheer light of the lot lamps.
I pull the phone off my ear and I start playing with it , like I’m texting. I start walking along the sidewalk in their direction. I don’t know why. I’m not sure what I’m doing. I just feel compelled to see her face. It is the face that one connects with. I have felt her presence and her aura in just fleeting episodes thusfar but it is enough to arouse my interest to get to know her. If I can make eye contact and see her , I will have made a step towards that goal. I cease my act of texting and put the phone in my pocket and increase my stride along the walkway. I’m almost parallel to them now , with my head at a slight downward angle I raise my eyes towards them. He is not looking at me any longer , in fact , he may not have been looking at me before. He is looking down at her feet and saying nothing. I continue walking and contemplate the best way to turn to see her fully as I pass. Then there is sudden movement. Forgetting my attempt at camouflage , I spin to see her turn and head back to the bar. I boldly stare after her. I just miss her countenance , I barely got her profile , but not enough to know. Damn! He sees me do this. I turn and hurriedly continue in my direction which unfortunately is the exact opposite direction that she is walking in. I turn the corner and stop. I’m out of view of the parking lot. I lean back against the building , one foot up against the wall. I’m gonna do the phone thing again. I place it to my ear. I hear a car start …a moment later he drives past and turns out of the parking lot without a sideways glance at me. As soon as his car disappears , I let out a breath. I immediately head back towards the bar.
I push the door open , and there she is. Standing at the bar, in front of a stool , a glass of wine in her hand and staring up at the t.v above the bar. She is swaying to the sound of the jukebox. A smooth Jack Johnson tune is playing. I head towards a stool a few paces to her right. She smoothes back some hair behind her ear , at this angle I can see she has a small button nose. Patiently , I hold my stare at the barkeep and sit , raising my hand for another drink. I slowly turn towards her to see her face……………………………………….