The Process and the Pain

This is becoming a tad more intense than I originally expected.

The memories of the BST flow back so easily, especially the feelings of sadness and lost time.

The year I worked down the ass-end of Wall St. temping for a company, I was working there around christmas, and there were days it was all I could do to keep my emotions in check.

I still dont know why, if it was the effects of the BST, or if its just my nature to have these random moments of complete emotional turmoil.

There is always a trigger though, and some of the songs (which you will all find out about later on, soon I hope) are that very trigger.

And this goes on till the 18th of August?? Sheesh!

You'll be able to send letters and cookies to me, care of the local sanitarium by the time this is done.

For more humorous postings by me, go check the WikiRoanoke. I'll be using that like crazy to balance this.

BST3: You call this a hospital???

So as it goes, I am in Queens, NY - at my home - either up in my room or not. I’m not sure. I’m waiting for daybreak to go see my dads doctor. But things are not waiting. Still with the vomiting (side note - my wife tells me yesterday that when my dad came to take me back to Queens - I had to jump out of the car before we even left and go throw up. Lovely memory she has…) and the pain. Never-ending pain at this point. And to top it off - I actually had to call into work, let them know I would not be in because I was going insane.

Did I mention how caring they were at work? No? Good - I don’t want to give the wrong impression.

Well things were not looking so good for me making it to a doctors office, and the doctor even recommended I go to the ER. Ahh yes, a NYC ER room.

Ever see one of those nature films where ants scurry about in a fight - walking over the ‘corpses’ of their fallen comrades. Well a NYC ER is close to that, but nothing I could show you short of actually bringing there with a severe injury could bring you close to understanding the conditions. Patients lining the hallways, on the hospital beds (when they could find them). We entered into the maelstrom, went through the check in and waited for a doctor.

Well, I was doing my impersonation of the “Native American Bring My Ass A Doctor” dance. I would try and sit, my legs violently shaking from the pain. Clutching the back of my head in agony.

That would last about 2-3 minutes. Then I was up, stomping around attempting to distract myself from the pain. Well, roughly 2 hours later (after being stuck in a loop of this dance) a doctor finally came down from upon high to see me. The prognosis: Dehydration.

Yes you heard me, Dehydration. Solution: 1 IV drip saline. Yes, just one. Hooked me up, drained the bag, kicked me out the door.

That’s probably the only thing that kept me alive for the next 2-3 days. The lack of proper care which gave me the ability to move on to my next destination. But more on that later.

Had I stayed in NY, and they actually discovered the tumor - I would have probably either died at some point, or possibly been horribly paralyzed for life. Too many stories have come out of this particular hospital for me to have any faith in it. Not to mention I probably would have been mugged at some point.

It would have either been that, or I would have been sent to a proper hospital - and still not come out as clean as I have.

Misdiagnosis of dehydration, it’s a good thing.

Oh - and incase your wondering - misdiagnosing is not solely the fault of the doctor in NY. They are simply overwhelmed by the amount of cases they have to see on a daily basis. Heck, even hourly can be disheartening. Ask any doctor who has done rounds in a NYC hospital, and they will tell you what war is like.

So lets review: Intense pain, vomiting, slight numbness in certain areas - a highly visible pain-dance and feral growling.

Oh yes, must be dehydration..

Now remember, IV bag drained and out the door.

Ok, good. We are all on point for tomorrows chapter.


BST2: Down days and lost nigts

Sorry for the delay in posting this - you'll live I suspect.

Day 2...

I went back home, with a promise from my dad to go to talk to his doctor that day, determining the best course of action. Everything pending on how things progressed over the next 24 hours.

I don't really remember much of those 24 hours, if I stayed in my room on the 2nd floor - if I went between the first and 2nd floors. I dont think I ate much, But if I slept the whole time, or sat infront of the computer or tv and zoned out - I have no idea.

There is not much to say about day 2. It was a down day. Im pretty sure the pain in my neck/head was overwhelming at this point.

So not much to report today, tomorrow however. Heh. You all get to learn the differences between NY hospitals and Hospitals anywhere else.

Oh what a trip that is.


BST: Appendix 1A

I know, not even 24 hours and allready Im adding crap.

I suppose I should add in a bit of backstory to the whole shebang.

First off, about early january 2001 I had a bad bout of backed-upedness. I was working my first desk job for a temp agency, it was pretty long term. I played it off as sitting on my ass all day. Probably was though.

It becomes very easy to attempt to attribute everything to the tumor, but sometimes you have to pull back.

So that was january. Come long about march or april 2002, I developed serious problems with my teeth. I have not had the best of experiences with my teeth, once cracking a tooth clear off the root while eating a Wendy's hamburger. Yeah, strange.

Finally my wife was able to talk me into seeing a dentist. Wonderful guy, Dr. Stigliano in Franklin Square, NY. Very caring, very funny - but always considerate.

He sent me to the uber-oral surgeon, Dr. Menzel - again, really nice guy. This dude was out to kick some rotten-tooth ass. I got the wonderful wrap-around x-ray, showing... oh - lets say 13 teeth that were so bad they all had little Hitler Moustaches.

Removal was manditory, and rather than spread out the panic over a few weeks - the good Dr. and my wife conspired to get them all out in a day. Well, I dont know that she conspired, but she thought it was a great idea. So I think it was about early june that I went in with a mouth full of death, and an hour and a half later - came out 13 teeth lighter.

But thats not all. The pain in my neck/head from what eventually was found to be the tumor was raging that day. I was given a general calming anesthetic, it was a nice office. Looked out onto traffic, lots of traffic to distract me from the procedure.

I got all those wonderful needles to the mouth, numbed up real well. He realizes that the teeth are holding on for dear life when he attempts to remove the first few. My roots apparently hook into the bone. yay.

So it made it a tad more difficult. But what really set the tone for the whole thing was the fact that my legs would not stop moving. I had no control over them it seemed, and they kept bouncing around - this way and that during the whole procedure. Now that, as we found out later - was because of the tumor. Essentially the stuff that was supposed to put me into 'twilight', only worked in sections. My midsection was calm, my mind somewhat relaxed considering. My lower half however, it was not with the program. Not in the slightest.

Then when it was over, as if it could not get stranger - I felt great. I felt like running a marathon. I healed without issue, quickly too.

Then it was back to Stigliano for the reconstruction phase, which involved saving as many of the remaining teeth as possible, taking casts for possible bridgework. Those type things.

All the while I was working at Home Depot, living in Queens. Walking the 2 blocks to work mid-day and home again mid-nite. Typical shifts were atypical - I could work 3-11pm. 4-10pm. It was varied. But I never enjoyed anything more than that walk home at night. Especially on a sunday night - with the sky clear and the air off the bay fresh (as fresh as air can be coming off of a polluted bay like that). Perhaps 2-3 times a shift, I had to take an informal break. I would be working my aisle (which is a whole other story in itself) when I would begin to feel dizzy. Or the tips of my nose, lips, and tongue would go numb. So I would run outside to catch some fresh air, sit for a moment. I would go online when I got home and check the symptoms as best as I could - mostly coming up with nothing more than hyperglycemia. Not once did anything brain related, or even seizure related come up.

When I was at home, generally alone - I would often sit on the computer doing not much of anything. Or I was off shopping at the local stores - buying some interesting produce to muck about with in the kitchen. I would cook massive meals, long laborous dishes. And on my days off - I was out where my wife was living, with her mother and aunt.

I took the train back and forth. I have always loved trains. Roanoke is not helping that. Not at all.

At some point just prior to the teeth removal, sometime in the winter - I had a big bad bout with food poisioning. Taco Bell style. And yet still I cant get enough, go figure. Laid up for 2 days, I went to a doctor who pronounced it food poisioning from the lettuce or tomatos - as they would normally be the only thing not cooked.

I was well acquainted with severe discomfort from that fun, so everything after it seemed to pale, for a while at least.

Poor Dr. Stigliano - when he heard about my brain issue, he was horrified. He told my wife he wished all the x-rays he took were tilted just a bit differently, then he would have seen. I felt awful.

But Im going to end this appendix for now, lest it should burst. Im sure I will have more later - but be on the lookout for the next entry, sometime around midnight.


I am pretty sure we were on the bus as the sun rose. My Aunt, Uncle, and Grandmother used to take the same bus to Atlantic City every now and then. Im pretty sure it was around sunrise they left, as did my girlfriend (now wife, and shall be referred to as such hereafter) and I.

It was a nice day, no storms to hassle us as we left NY headed south on the NJT. We were on a bus headed for the Showboat Hotel and Casino. Chosen because it was a friendly place, with a large bowling alley should we tire of losing. It all started out ok, I still had the pain in my neck/head - but that was nothing new. Besides - it was my birthday. Screw the pain, I was going to have fun dammit!

As we leave the bus, I feel a wee bit woozy, but brush it off as it was nothing new. I remember playing some various TV themed slot machines. Getting up, wandering around, playing some video poker. Always on the cheap. Nickel slots, quarter at the most.

We had the coupon from the bus company for the buffet lunch. I was not hungry, as usual at that time. I poked some bread and other food, I vaguely remember the buffet being huge. Tables everywhere - A long line of brass railing at the buffet counter. I dont remember any of the infamous Atlantic City Prime Rib Special.

I think this is where things begin to get hinky. The plan was eat, play a few more games - get back on the bus. Somehow we found a shortcut entrance to the Trump Taj Mahal next door.

I have a feeling that the lights, noise, the whole feel of the place unleashed something inside me. Deep inside that had been waiting to make its public debut. I remember putting one coin in a slot machine there at Trump. Losing of course, and the next minutes would land me a slice of history I never asked for.

There was time before the bus left. Maybe 60 minutes or so. After a few minutes in Trump we decided to head back to the Showboat to finish up there, so we were not far from the bus loading area. On the way back, I began my decent into hell.

From what my wife has told me, she looked back at me because I was a step or two behind, and I had said something. Probably something like "hold on..."

The next thing she saw was my upper body still in full stride, with my legs firmly planted on the floor. The 2 halves had disconnected. I fell backwards, and slammed my head into a $100 change machine. Of course, I did not win there either.

I remember vaguely seeing a security guard rushing up to me, telling me to stay put - a wheelchair was on the way. I attempted insisting I was allright, and was actively involved in trying to stand - but could not.

Puzzled, pissed, and petrified - in that order. Lesser attention paid to the last part. I remember getting in the wheelchair, and next thing I remember was talking to the on-site nurse at Trump. I think the nurse (sorry but I do not remember much about you, nurse) had allready taken my blood pressure, inquired about my drinking that day, and covered all the usual bases.

I was urged, by the nurse, to allow myself to be taken to the local hospital. I insisted that I could not miss my bus home, I signed a waiver freeing Trump from any legal ramifications due to whatever it was that happened, and I was wheeled back towards the bus.

As we still had a few minutes to wait (somehow), We waited at the bar. I had a glass of orange juice, still in my delusionary state thinking it must have been hypoglycemia. Wether this was a good move or not is still debateable.

Back on the bus home, headed northbound on the NJT back to Long Island. I think maybe an hour had passed, all I remember was that it was dark. They had begun showing the movie, as they do on these 4 hour trips. According to my wife, source of most of my memories of this trip, I was basically nodding in and out of conciousness during the ride. She was hoping that it was nothing more than a bout of food poisioning like the one I had suffered the year previous, and sleeping my way back to NY was for the best.

Some time later, maybe an hour and a half from home, I began to vomit. The lovely people sitting infront of us thankfully had a plastic bag, and a can of ginger ale. My wife was allready burning the cell phone trying to get a clue as to how to handle this.

To this day she still wonders if she should have had the bus driver stop in Manhattan and let us off there.

Needless to say we made it home without much delay - although it was pouring now. I had ruined her cardigan sweater, having grabbed it early on to catch my 'forthcomings'.

We arrived, her mother there to pick us up. After the sweater was disposed of in a nearby dumpster, we were off for the 5 minute drive back home.

I managed to make it home ok, clearing my head a bit with the talk in the car of the trip. Into the house, it's decided that I go clean up and take a shower.

Brains that I am, I get in the bathroom, disrobe, and turn the water on. I got in the shower, and promptly fell out. Seriously. Taking down the shower curtain rod (vintage one piece construction), the curtain, and nearly bringing down the sink as well. It was one of those sort-of pedistals, with the 2 metal legs at the corners - back attached to the wall. Well one leg was bent.

No, not my head - my head landed somehow nicely between the toilet and the sink, missing both. I think my legs followed me out of the shower a short time later.

My wife, her mother, and her aunt (and the dog) all rushed to my aid. They got me back in the tub, sitting up - and checked out injury free. Somehow.

Everyone took a moment to consider what next. I once again cleared my head, and decided on finshing my shower. Sitting, safely on the floor of the tub.

My wife was allready on the phone with my mother. Smart woman I married.
What transcribed between the two on the phone I still dont have a clear idea of, although I can imagine the panic and angst.

Finally, somehow they got me to bed. And I slept nearly endlessly.

But there was still tomorrow.

BST begins

Or, the story of this

and this


Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites

Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites

Apparently Im not the only one feeling wacky today. Go ahead - zoom in reeeeeeeeeaaaalll close

The great downtown rocket

The story behind the great downtown rocket.

Im calling shenanigans. This whole story is a misleading lie. There is only one fact in that whole article that is true.
It is a ballistic missle.

Cute cover story about the monkey thing though. People like monkeys. Associate something people like with the rocket:
suddenly people feel safe driving by a missle daily.

Lie A) Sent a monkey into space... No, monkeys got together and overwhelmed the guards around a rocket installation one day,
hell bent on getting a single monkey back to the monkey-planet where he would reveal the secrets of the human race.
Ripe for domination, or so they thought. The monkeys launched. But the Greys, Betazeds, and those Scientology aliens who are all on the government payroll - they fried his monkey butt. Thus no monkey invasion.

But watch them when they see the Space Shuttle... theres drool on their lips, and malice in their hearts.

Monkey = evil.

Remember that.

Lie B) Its just a museum piece. Hell no, it's too close to the Roanoke Times buildings to be "just a museum piece." I have long held that the missle is actually part of the Times defensive mechanisim, lest anyone try and become a threat to their news monopoly. Why do you think Roanoke does not have another newspaper?

The Missile.

Its the sword of damocles hanging over the Roanoke Valley. Anytime someone gets the inkling of an idea to start up a new newspaper, a rep from the Times calls them, and reminds them of the big missle.

But theres a group, armed with tinfoil hats to prevent the Times from usurping ViPir Radar technology to read the thoughts of those who would start a 2nd Roanoke newspaper. I will have more on them later.

Oh yes, and its T-24 hours and counting. Are you ready?


roanoke.com - Extra stories - Art museum presents Impressionist work

You know, I was going to blog this. I was going to post one of the artists pictures, and talk about how they, while nice, were not great.

How they reminded me of old watercolor greeting cards.

But they're not bad, and thats not a bad thing. I don't know that I would find them fascinating, but they are nice enough. Remind me of the various postcards and clippings my grandmother used to save as inspiration for when she painted.

It's cool, and if thats what they want to display - fine by me. It's not my money.

But - if you scroll down the page a bit, you come across the Mill Mountain Theatre report.

Sounds like a good season coming up, although I have to admit 2 of the offerings scare me.

"Elvis People" about people who love Elvis. I see Elvis people. scary

And - the really scary one, "Mrs. Bob Crachit's Wild Christmas Binge."
Victorian Girls Gone Wild?
Yet somehow I am intrigued, might be a good year for a trip to the theatre.

2 days to go

I feel the weight of the 3-year train bearing down on me. Im running out of time.

2 days till the past takes over, and this blog goes BST.


HP & the 1/2 blood prince update

wife done with book. tears, but no idea why yet.

more later.

Allright, I know you are all waiting for it..

But Im not going to say anything about the Dr. Pepper sign/ H&C Coffee sign article today except to applaud Dr. Pepper/Pepsi Bottling for the want to repair the sign. They could have just let it continue rotting away, but decided that it meant something to the town with a Dr. Pepper jones. Nice of them to raise funds to repair it.

All part of the betterment of Downtown, and by extenstion, all of Roanoke.

But its going to be a hot, nasty, hazy next few days, so I dont want to add to the tension that will undoubtably build during this lovely weather. Besides, I still have my story to tell.


dramatic, no? (7:30pm 7/17) Posted by Picasa

yep, its coming. (7:26pm 7/17) Posted by Picasa

Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Being that its kind of a no-news day, I thought I'd point out some of the great programs the city offers to those who want to live there.

How about no, or low property-tax for 10 years?

Not only does Roanoke offer breaks for those rehabilitating older houses, it offers breaks for those who are converting multiple-family houses (or apartments) back into single family dwellings.

But wait.. theres more:

Mortgage assistance program
(its a pdf)
For a first time homebuyer, the city will give you a 10-year interest free loan. Yes, I said the city.
All you have to do is add a small amount, ($400 under $60k loan, or $600 on over $60k loans) and of course there are earnings limits (although not unreasonable), and you get a home.

There are, as always, rules and regulations - as with any federally funded program. But hell, its nothing really.

And you get a home.

Can't beat that huh? A home, tax breaks, and on top of that - the city will also loan you money for the repair of the home. I'll have to do some more searching, but its on the Roanokegov.com website somewhere.

All in the form of loans with little or no interest.

Hell, can't beat that with a stick - now can ya?