Return To Normalcy

Posted by TechyDad on July 28, 2014 under Life, Medical

TechyDadsCATScanAnnotated1[1] After my surgery, normal life ground to a halt.  Immediately after the surgery, I wasn’t strong enough to get up and move for long.  In fact, when I initially woke up from the anesthesia, I had the most peculiar experience.  I became quickly conscious and aware of my surroundings.  I could hear everything going on and could think clearly.  What I couldn’t do was move.  It was like my mind was separated from my body.  It took great effort to move my body just a little bit.  Slowly, I began to regain use of my limbs and the effort returned to normal levels.

Later, I had to rest in bed.  I could move around, but moving too much would leave me out of breath.  This meant that my usual tasks of going to work, driving, making food for everyone, getting the kids ready for bed, and more had to be done by B.  You might think that sitting around doing nothing while someone else does everything for you sounds good, right?  Well, maybe for a short while it might be, but I found myself longing to do something.  In fact, I still wonder if part of my insomnia issues stemmed from not following my normal routines.  At 2am, I felt like I just had to be doing something, but there was nothing for me to do.

As I got stronger and recovered more, I was able to venture outside.  You don’t know how much you miss taking a simple walk around the block until you’re medically forbidden from doing it.  The feeling of the sun on me, the gentle breeze, and simply moving my legs felt great.  Again, with the insomnia, I felt like I just wanted to run around our house at 2am.  Unfortunately, our house is not designed for people to run around within it.  At least, not without waking everyone else up.

Finally, there is work.  I don’t talk about my work life here much because I prefer to keep my professional life and blogging/social media life separate.  Still, I missed going to work.  The intellectual challenge of it all and talking with my co-workers is a big part of my "normal life" and I missed it.  Thankfully, I’m going back to work for the first time in a week today.  I’m sure there will be plenty for me to catch up on.

By now, I’m feeling almost fully recovered.  I still can’t bend over without feeling bad pressure in my nose.  I also need to be careful not to lie on my face or touch my nose too hard.  I’m also not supposed to lift heavy objects.  There’s also the matter of the packing and blood clots that I’m still occasionally passing.  That’s not pleasant at all.  But all of this is getting less and less frequent and my life seems to be returning to normal.  Actually, it’s even better than normal because now I can breathe out of BOTH of my nostrils.  I think I’m going to like normal version 2.0.

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Insomnia

Posted by TechyDad on July 25, 2014 under Sleep

insomnia The past few nights have been particularly rough.  This first night after my surgery, I was tired enough to sleep, but woke up constantly with drainage that required bandage changes.  The next night, I woke up at 2am and couldn’t fall back to sleep until 4am.  During that time, I began having panic attacks about not being able to breathe.  The night before last, however, was the worst yet.  I got to sleep at the respectable hour of 11pm.  I even delayed sleep to make sure I was very tired.  I stayed asleep until 1:30am – A mere 2.5 hours.  Then, I was awake.

I had planned for this and tried various things, reading a book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which proved too exciting to lead to sleep), watching TV (nothing good is on at 2am and I couldn’t find anything on Netflix to watch), I even caught up on nearly all of the feeds in my Feedly reader list.  However, just when my eyes started to get blurry and I could feel myself drifting off, sleep would elude me and I’d suddenly be awake again.

At around 5:30am, I gave up and accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to get any rest.  Oddly enough, I wasn’t totally exhausted.  If anything, I felt wired.  After B dropped the boys off at camp and after we had breakfast, I went for a walk around the block because I felt like it.  It was a nice day – not too hot and not too cold and not too humid.  Moving my legs made me feel better.  I did take a quick 15-30 minute cat nap at one point after returning home, but I didn’t feel too bad.

In fact, my nose began to feel better as the day went on.  As of this writing, the night before this goes live, I’m both hopeful that I’ll get a good night’s sleep and frightened about having another sleepless night.  If you see some odd tweets from me around 2am, take it as a sign that my insomnia returned and my brain has finally snapped under the strain.  Then hop on over to B’s twitter feed because I might just be taking her along with me on the insomnia ride to crazy town.

NOTE: The "insomnia" image above is composed of Emoticons: Sleeping Face by nicubunu and No-Sign by skotan.  Both are available via OpenClipArt.org.

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Surgery Recovery

Posted by TechyDad on July 23, 2014 under Medical

before and after surgery for postOn Monday morning, we dropped the boys off and header to the hospital.  I was nervous, but my surgery day had finally arrived and I just wanted the procedure over with.  They led me right to a room for me to  get changed into those oh-so-fashionable open-in-the-rear gowns.  I’ll spare you a rear view photo (partly because I didn’t take any rear view photos).  After awhile, I got my IV in and then B was allowed in to see me.  After a bit of a wait, I was given something to lower my anxiety and was wheeled off.  I remember being led down some halls, into the OR, and told to get onto the table.

The next thing I remember was coming to in recovery.

This was quite an odd sensation.  My mind came to but I had no control over my body.  I could hear everyone around me, but I couldn’t open my eyes or signal to them.  Slowly, I recovered more and was led back to a room.  I was given some ice water and popsicles, took a nap, and finally headed home.

The recovery process has not been easy.  With my "moustache bandage" on and all of the swelling/drainage from the surgery, I can’t breathe through my nose.  This leaves just my mouth to breathe through.  I get winded doing the simplest of activities and have had a few panic attacks over this.  Especially when I woke up at 2am, couldn’t go back to sleep, and was pacing nervously around the house.  (Even writing about it is raising my anxiety.) 

This recovery is going to be a slow, difficult process, but I know that – in the long run – this will be for the best.

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It’s Surgery Day

Posted by TechyDad on July 21, 2014 under Medical

TechyDadsCATScanAnnotated[1] As this post goes live, I’ll be in the hospital.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have some sort of mutant structure in my nose that tried to form into a third nasal passage.  (Thankfully, no third nostril, though.)  This has pushed on my nasal passages causing one to become tiny.  This, in turn, means that it is almost impossible for me to breathe out of one side of my nose.  Although I’m really nervous about this procedure, I’m also looking forward to not lying awake in bed at night, unable to breathe properly, and feeling the panic rising that I’m not going to get a decent breath of air into my lungs.

My doctors have told me that I’ll have a quick recovery, but depending on how I feel, I might skip posting for a few days.

Have you ever had a surgical procedure performed?  How quick was your recovery?

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Having Some Mandatory Fun, Weird Al Style

Posted by TechyDad on July 17, 2014 under Music, Review

Mandatory_Fun I’ve been a fan of Weird Al Yankovic for years.  From Eat It, to Amish Paradise, to White & Nerdy, I love all of his songs and always eagerly await his next works.  This week, Al has released a new album: Mandatory Fun.  In addition, he’s releasing eight videos

The day before the album’s release, Al released Tacky, a parody of Pharrell’s "Happy."  Instead of singing about how happy he was, Al sang about rude behavior ("are you pregnant girl, or just really fat?") and extremely questionable fashion choices (the image of Jack Black twerking while wearing a sequined fanny pack has been burned in my brain).  It’s a hilarious look at the behavior that some people think is completely appropriate.

The next day, Word Crimes came out.  If Tacky addressed violations of good taste, Word Crimes (which parodies "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke) tackled those to whom proper grammar is a foreign language.  Not only does the song complain about the use of numb3rs in words, but it also warns against u using single letters to represent words.  Its also quite insistent on the use of it’s versus its.  (For the record, I made those "grammar mistakes" on purpose.  It was hard for me to do that even for the sake of a pun.)  Anyone who has ever edited someone’s writing or who has had the misfortune to read something from this kind of writer will find Word Crimes cathartic.  Plus, you’ve just got to love a song that works the word "nomenclature" in.

Yesterday, the third video, Foil was released.  This song (a parody of "Royals" by Lorde) proclaims the uses of aluminum foil to preserve food.  However, it quickly descends into paranoid ravings about the Illuminati and the uses of tin foil to construct mind reading blocking helmets.

Though I don’t (as of this writing) know what other videos will be released, I’ve already purchased and listened to the album in full.  Here are some quick impressions of the rest of the songs:

  • Handy – Parodying "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea – This is a delightful song about the many things that your local handyman can repair.
  • Lame Claim to Fame – Did you know that my aunt once dated a guy who was in charge of the rolling bolder scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark?  While that is actually a true story, this the kind statement that people will recite to make themselves seem more important.  This song is all about these "claims to fame."
  • Sports Song – Go team!  Which one?  It doesn’t really matter.  This "generic football fight song" is purposefully vague as to which team or even which sport we’re cheering on.  All we know is that our team will beat the other team because we’re so good and they aren’t.
  • My Own Eyes – There are many things that you see through the years that you wish you hadn’t.  This song, in the style of the Foo Fighters, names a few things that Al has allegedly seen over the years.  If only half of these are true, it might offer an insight into how his mind can be so brilliant and twisted at the same time.
  • NOW That’s What I Call Polka! – Sometimes Weird Al will alter a song completely in parody.  Other times, he simply sings the songs as they are, albeit in polka form.  This medley combines songs such as Wrecking Ball, Gangnam Style, and Call Me Maybe.  If you are thinking that you can’t possibly sing some of those as polka songs, then you obviously don’t know Weird Al Yankovic.
  • Mission Statement – Sung like Crosby, Stills, and Nash, this song will be the anthem of any cubicle resident who has had to contend with managerial speak.  This song achieves synergy through vertical integration of its operational assets in a holistic fashion.
  • Inactive – A parody of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.  This song tells the tale of a couch potato who doesn’t like to move.
  • First World Problems – In the style of Pixies, Al tells the woeful tale of someone who has varied problems in his life.  One wonders how this person copes with a house too large for Wi-Fi to work in his kitchen, a fridge that can’t fit all the food he bought, a gardener whose name he can’t remember, and a shower that loses hot water after only an hour.  Truly this person suffers more than anyone else on this planet!
  • Jackson Park Express – Sung in the style of Cat Stevens, Jackson Park Express in the inner monologue of someone who spies a woman he fancies while riding a train.  With any other singer, this might result in a touching love story.  With Weird Al, though, we get a different kind of "touching."  As in he’s touched in the head in an extremely creepy way.  Of course, it’s Weird Al so he somehow makes creepy and disturbing entertaining.

The entire album is packed with wonderful songs.  I can’t wait to see which of them are featured in the next five music videos.

You can see all of the music videos (even the ones uploaded after I posted this) and get links to purchase the album on WeirdAl.com.

NOTE: The album image above comes from a screen capture I took of my phone as it played the album on Amazon Music.

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