Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog……

So what’s a TDN song got to do with cataract surgery? Well, let me tell ya……

First of all, my left eye is doing great – I can see better than I have in several months! Everything is sharp, with no more rainbow halos around light sources. But, let’s get back to the story.

We got to the hospital a little early Tuesday, and I checked in with admitting. After a short wait, the nurse came and led me to the prep room. The nurse put some drops in my eye to get it started dilating. Then she tried to get the IV started in my right hand.

Poke. Ow. Poke. Ow. Hmmm. Vein not cooperating. Instead of IV going in, blood is coming out. She then switched to the left hand. Poke. Ow. Got it! After the IV was installed, they stuck little monitor stickers all over my chest for the heart monitors and such. This is pretty much standard operating procedure for any kind of surgery; even minor.

After all the stickers were placed, and the blood pressure cuff was on, another nurse came in to start getting my eye even more dilated, and they wrote something on my head over my eye with a marker. She told me to close my eyes and just relax for a little while. They turned out the lights in my room, and let Jo and my dad join me.

After a while, the anesthesiologist came in, and told me they would be standing by, but unless it was too intense for me they wouldn’t give me any sedation other than the local anesthetic for my eye. This made me a little nervous, but I said I’d try to tough it out. He said they like to keep you as alert as possible so you can follow the doctor’s directions during the procedure, and so you don’t go to sleep and move your eye while he’s working. I can see where that might be a problem.

Presently they came in with a gurney, and after making myself (relatively) comfortable, they wheeled me into the operating room. The nurse put more drops in my eye to numb it a bit, then put a gel into my eye that was the main anesthetic. She swabbed it around my eye pretty thoroughly, and it worked quickly. Within moments, my eye was totally numb, and everything was just a blur. They put a kind of paper veil over my face with a small opening for my left eye, and taped my eyelid to keep it open. She told me Dr. Moyes would be in in a few minutes, and we’d get started.

The intercom system in the OR was on, and was playing some of the good ol’ stuff from the 60s and 70s. I remember when they were prepping me, I heard “My Eyes Adore You” playing, and I was kidding the nurses about the music being somewhat appropriate for the occasion. The next song got the party started, though. It was Three Dog Night’s “Joy To The World,” also known as the “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog” song. Suddenly, the volume went up a bit, and I heard Dr. Moyes come in, singing along: “Jeremiah was a bullfrog; he was a good friend of mine….” I had to laugh. I said “Looks like the party’s starting..” And so it was. After Dr. Moyes and I traded a few jokes about drinking Jeremiah’s wine, and not understanding a dang thing he said, we got down to business. Most of what I remember was after he swung the microscope into position over my eye was a really bright light, a 60s style psychadelic light show in my eye, a little bit of pressure, and it was done in just a few minutes.

I was wheeled into a recovery room for about 20 minutes just to make sure I was OK. Jo and my dad rejoined me, and shortly, the nurse came in to take all the stickers and stuff off me. Indeed, the most painful part of the entire ordeal was when she pulled off the tape they used to keep the IV in place.

I went back today to see another doctor at Moyes Eye Center for my post-op checkup. They checked my vision, and it proved to be much improved; 20:50 in the left eye. The doctor I saw today looked it over, and gave me the big thumbs up. He cleared me to drive, and I can go back to work tomorrow as long as I don’t do any heavy lifting.

After looking at my chart, he told me that normally after a complete retinal detachment like mine, the chances of having 20:50 vision in that eye were extremely thin. “You have Someone on your side,” he told me. Yep, that and some mighty good doctors. Dr. Moyes, and all the folks at Moyes Eye Center, and Dr. Dyer and the folks at Retina Associates are completely, absolutely, undeniably, and utterly AWESOME!

And now, I’m going to sign off, and go pay a visit to my old friend Jeremiah. I can’t understand a single thing he says, but I’ll help him drink his wine.

He always has some mighty fine wine.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Stupid Computer Tricks - the Final Chapter

Looks like the "Stupid Computer Tricks" photos will have a final shot at everlasting glory - or something like that.

A few days ago, I was contacted my Bill Detwiler from TechRepublic, a well-known web resource for IT professionals, and a division of the Ziff-Davis and CNET publishing network. He had stumbled across my SCT photos on one of the "pirated" sites, and was interested in posting them on TechRepublic. Since he was courteous enough to ask (unlike several other entities), and was part of CNET, I agreed to provide him with the photos - and the updated captions without the typos. He did a great job, and now the photos have a new lease on life. You can view them at:

SCT Photos at TechRepublic

When I zipped the site and sent it to him, he also enjoyed the infamous Exploding Roach photos, so they got their own gallery at:

The Infamous Exploding Roach Photos at TechRepublic

I hope you enjoy the "new" SCT experience. I would ask that if you want to refer your friends and associates to the SCT photos, you send them to the galleries on TechRepublic rather than the old version on the pirated sites.

I've placed a short history of the SCT website at A Little Stupid History.

Well, I'm counting down the days until my next adventure in the realm of eye surgery. I'll be out of commission Tuesday, and most of Wednesday as well. I don't know how long I'll be off work this time, but it shouldn't be as long as last November when I was out for 3 weeks. It will most likely be just a few days. They want to be extra careful since I had surgery on that eye relatively recently.

They tell me the procedure only takes about 10 minutes, but the prep takes about 45 minutes. They have to put a gel-patch on the eye, which numbs everything up, and they will connect me to IVs and all that other good stuff. The nurse told me they'll fill me up with "happy juice" pretty well, so I'll be chillin' out like back in the 60s by the time Dr. Moyes is ready to take out the cataract. I've got the best eye specialist in the region doing the procedure, but I'll still be glad when this is all over.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get back to some of my projects soon.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Under the Knife Again

Well, it looks like surgery time again.

I saw Dr. Moyes, my eye doctor, again today. The cataract in my left eye has been steadily getting worse over the last couple of months. Of course, it hasn’t come as a big surprise – both Dr. Dyer and Dr, Moyes told me back in November that the vitrectomy surgery I had that month tends to accelerate any cataract that is already there. It also tends to initiate a cataract if there isn’t one already present.

Anyway, they checked my eyes out pretty thoroughly today, and took some ultrasound measurements in preparation for the surgery. I’ll be having the cataract surgery on Tuesday the 29th at St. Luke’s North. It’s done on an outpatient basis, and I’ll go home for the recovery. I don’t think I’ll be off work as long as I was in November, but I’ll probably be off the rest of the week.

Between all this drama with my eye, and all the family health crises, and work, I’m pretty well worn out most of the time anymore. The last few years haven’t been much fun.

In between all the chaos/crises, I’ve managed to get a few things done around the house. I put up a new motion-detector light over the garage last weekend, and I’m still working on several projects off and on. The weather is beginning to look more like Spring (in other words, rain..), so I’m looking forward to doing some grilling soon.

If all this crap ever settles down someday, maybe I’ll have more time for things like my website, my art, and a few vacation days that don’t involve doctors’ offices, hospitals, surgery, or funerals.

The “Stupid Computer Tricks” site may be coming back, but in a different format, and in a different place. And it will not be yet another “pirated” site, either. This one will have my full permission and cooperation.

I was contacted by email a few days ago by a writer from CNET, the major computer/technology website published by Ziff-Davis. He stumbled on my photos on one of the pirated sites, and would like to do an on-line article about my experiences along with the non-pirated photos. I’ll be typing up a little information that he requested, and looking up the photos to send him. I’ll place a link, of course, to the article once it is complete. Once again, it looks like Warhol was right about the 15 minutes of fame thing!

I’m going to sign off for now – my eyes are still somewhat dilated from earlier today, and this computer screen is becoming a big blur.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Update - April 2, 2008

Just a quick entry tonight…

Things have been pretty stressful in March, with the recent loss in the family, and all the things that go along with these sad events. But things seem to be settling down a bit, I think.

The new computer is doing well, and the AMD machine has been behaving itself pretty well. It now has a new job – as a recording studio. I purchased a preamp-mixer from DAK a couple weeks ago, and it works beautifully! I am now starting to digitize some of my old vinyl LPs, and I’m burning them on CDs.

I have a ton of other projects in the works, it’s just a matter of getting the time to work on them. That’s been a problem for the last few years – and it doesn’t seem to improve a lot as time goes on.

I’ve been fighting with Comcast the last few months. Since last December, my digital cable has been intermittent at best, and completely useless at worst. I’ve had technicians out at least a half-dozen times since the first of the year, and still the issues continue. I finally got in contact with a customer service manager Monday night, and pretty much told him I wanted the issue fixed, or they can take their cable and shove it. They’ve been working on the distribution lines, and they are coming out Saturday again. We’ll see what happens.

I just picked up my yearly TurboTax this evening, and preliminary figures indicate a refund of a little over 300 bucks. Yea! I don’t know what the state figures are yet, but hopefully I’ll get a refund as well. Then we’ll see what we get with the “economic stimulus” rebate, if anything. Hopefully, we can “stimulate” enough for a nice vacation this fall. Without the rain this year, please and thank you.

I’ll be trying to update a little more frequently, and will be adding some new stuff to the website soon.