2014

Snow on the Rocky Mountains, southeast of Boulder

I can’t remember the history of this image, but the metadata tells me that I created it on May 13, 2014. It looks like I might have applied some artistic effects to it using Gimp, but I think what I actually did was just take a slightly zoomed-in photo with an iPhone 5s, because that also appears in the metadata. Either way, it was the view I had from my previous residence on the west side of Broomfield, Colorado.

Shaman

The Native American woman I met last week had an aneurysm and brain surgery last year. (She showed me the scar, and she’s fine now.) Before the aneurysm was discovered, she went to a shaman who’s well-known among Natives here. He lit something, made some smoke, did whatever else he does, then looked at her, put his finger on her forehead and said, “You are blocked here.”

Unfortunately she assumed he was referring to a mental blockage, and thought, “No, I’m an open person, he’s wrong.” Shortly after this, doctors discovered the aneurysm right where he pointed.

This is the story she told me.

Passed out for the first time (anniversary)

Today (February 19th) is an anniversary of sorts for me. After knowing “something” was wrong for a long time — I used to tell doctors it felt like I had been poisoned or was experiencing the symptoms of anaphylaxis or sepsis — I went unconscious for the first time on this date in 2014.

While that in many ways was a horrible event — if I had fallen to the right instead of the left when I blacked out I probably would have cracked my head on the bathtub and died right then — in the end it was necessary for doctors (and I) to take things more seriously, which resulted in seeing a total of 26 doctors to learn that I have MCAS, a rare but treatable non-contagious blood disease (something I was born with).

Working on pickup lines with my nieces

Worked on pickup lines with my nieces in Illinois last night. I usually go with, “Excuse me, do you know how to bake cookies?”;  “Oreos: Regular, or Double Stuf?”; or the classic, “What did you do when Hostess went bankrupt?” But thanks to them I’m working on my repertoire:

You’re so hot you must’ve started global warming.

Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?

If you were a booger I’d pick you first. (might be best used in grade school)

Is it hot in here, or is it just you? (may be good if the woman appears to be having hot flashes)

Do you have a map? I just got lost in your eyes.

Stop, drop, and roll, baby. You are on fire.

Woo baby, you’re hotter than donut grease. (works best at Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts)

Wake up, throw up, have the shakes (MCAS)

I had it in my mind that the worst of the mast cell disease (MCAS) side effects didn’t kick in until later in 2015, but I just saw this memory on Facebook from January 3, 2015:

“The day started off with a bad dream, after which I woke up, threw up, and had the shakes for long time. Fortunately it got much better as the day went on, and I eventually enjoyed a belated Christmas celebration with friends and family.”

I remember the vomiting and shakes started long before this – I learned to keep a trash can by the bedside – so those symptoms would have been well back into 2014.