november

Drive back from Golden, Colorado (and Lady Cab Driver)

While driving back from Golden, Colorado on November 10, 2016, I happened to be listening to Lady Cab Driver by the artist formerly known as Prince, and wondered if these days he would have called it Lady Uber Driver. I thought it was interesting how society in the present moment has an effect on music and writing.

And here’s a gratuitous photo of some cattle on the right and wrong side of the fence near Golden, a big field, and some mountains.

Glad my throat doesn’t close during most allergic reactions

Whenever I have a bad allergic reaction to something, I’m glad that my throat doesn’t close. It did that one time in Alaska before anyone knew anything about mast cell disease, and I was fortunate to survive that one. It’s a strange feeling to feel your neck/throat rapidly swelling and closing around your trachea. (I always keep at least one bottle of liquid Benadryl around for times like this.)

What pericarditis feels like: Chest pain, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Table of Contents1 - Initial signs and symptoms of my pericarditis2 - At the hospital emergency department3 - In the cardiac wing4 - Pericarditis diagnosis5 - Pericarditis treatment6 - Pericarditis hospital discharge information7 - Pericarditis recovery8 - More on the pericarditis symptoms9 - More on the pericarditis treatment

WARNING: Chest pain is a serious life or death matter. If you’re experiencing chest pain right now, don’t waste any time reading this article — get yourself to a hospital.

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Initial signs and symptoms of my pericarditis

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, I had just finished lunch, looked at the clock, and saw that I could fit in about an hour of work before the Denver Broncos game started. Despite Denver’s 2-6 record, I was looking forward to see how Broncos’ quarterback Brandon Allen would do in his first career start following Joe Flacco’s neck injury.

A minute later I had severe chest pain. It wasn’t in the middle of my chest, but it was on the left side of the left chest/breast area. To the best of my memory, I went from feeling perfectly fine to having severe pain in a matter of moments.

Treat your code like poetry and take it to the edge of the bare minimum

“Treat your code like poetry and take it to the edge of the bare minimum.”
~ ILYO

“I have learned magnitudes more from code I have maintained over code I have written from scratch.”
~ Viktor Klang, in this tweet

I have no idea who or what ILYO is, but I like the “poetry” part, and dislike the “bare minimum” part. As the second quote implies, code should be written so you can read it a year or two from now.

132 rounds of chemo

I have gone through some health issues, for sure, but I always feel much worse when I see little children in the hospital fighting some illness or disease. Seeing that breaks my heart, and I have nothing but love and respect for those kids and all of the medical professionals that help them.

And as I was writing that, I received an email about Marybeth Hoffman, who has gone through 132 rounds of chemo to fight pancreatic cancer. Anything I have gone through pales in comparison to what many other people have to deal with.

The Pericarditis incident

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, I had just finished lunch, looked at the clock, and saw that I could fit in about an hour of work before the Broncos game started. I was looking forward to see how Broncos’ quarterback Brandon Allen would do in his first career start.

A minute later I had severe chest pain. At first I thought I was having an allergic reaction to lunch — Wolfgang Puck’s potato soup, which I’ll never eat again — but I quickly realized it was something heart-related.

So I eventually got myself to the hospital. Because of the way the pain instantly came on I was guessing blood clot, but the doctors think it’s something called Pericarditis, as explained in this image.

(The last song I heard before going into the hospital was Someone Saved My Life Tonight, and while the lyrics don’t fit the event, I was hoping the title would be a good match.)

My favorite Midsomer Murders episode

My favorite Midsomer Murders episode is ... one that nobody else has ever seen. It keeps coming to me in a recurring dream. There’s something to do with a warm swimming pool, then Ben Jones is undercover, with a beard, dark/dirty skin, and unkempt hair. Then a group of people get in the back of a large car, including Jones, Tom Barnaby, and me. (It’s nice to be in the middle of an episode). It must be something like the back of a limousine, because there are five or six of us sitting in two rows, looking at each other and talking.

A little later there’s something about an oriental woman and some gold. Near the end of the episode Tom starts singing, and he sounds really good, but the group can’t get funding for what they’re doing, presumably putting on some kind of show, but a famous woman helps them out, something to do with a commercial. Cully is involved around this time, and there’s also a black bear named William Hanks (I don’t know where that came from). Joyce is involved at several points, especially the end, and fortunately she doesn’t cook anything. :)

At the end of the episode Tom is sitting in a chair, and I’m standing on his left and Joyce is standing on his right. I say to them, “This is the best episode ever, it’s much more of a movie than an episode.” Joyce agrees, and Tom doesn’t say anything, but sits there with a satisfied smile.

I’ve had this dream at least twice so far, and I look forward to seeing it again the next time it’s on. :)

Returning from the Land of the Dead (Wasilla, Alaska)

Phew, I’m glad to be back from the Land of the Dead. Just took some chocolates to the nurses who helped me recover. Looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend.

~ A Facebook post from November 30, 2010. I was living in Wasilla, Alaska at the time, had my gallbladder removed, then got an infection that made for ten of the worst days of my life. But the nurses were very helpful.