**GRAPHIC**

A picture of my scar if you don’t want to see it click out.

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Second warning. This is a picture of my scar from back surgery.

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Final warning to click out of here or you’ll see it

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scar

 

I warned you. This is the scar from my back surgery. There is a medical term for what they did and I think they just make words up in the hospital. All of my prescriptions are words I’ve never heard of too. I thought it was just a 2″ incision. This is the first time I’ve seen it. My physical therapist took the picture. That’s her hand at the top just to give it some comparison. The thing is 6″ long. There’s just some small scabs left and a one of the stiches sticking out of the top that will probably just fall out. It’s healing pretty good on the outside but hurts like hell on the inside.

 

 

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I’ll miss my room

I’ll miss my room at the rehabilitation hospital. Or no, I’m miss the entire place. I was spoiled the entire time. I’ve never been taken care of my entire life like I was here. The attention and respect the staff gave me was outstanding. I had to ask them not to disturb me as much. They said o.k. but continued and I never brought it up again. A lot of times in the evening no one came in to check on me but I could see them going in and out of the rooms around me. After a while I finally told the nurse that I feel like I’ve been forgotten. She told me I’m one of the few that never pushes the callimage button. I never wanted to bother them, they looked too busy. The only time I asked for anything was when they brought my meals in. They always said they’d let the nurse know. I never knew who was and wasn’t a nurse. When the nurse did come in with the med cart and to check my vitals she always asked my pain level from 1 to 10. I always said 9 and the meds weren’t helping. A few days later she comes in and said if I need pain meds just ask. So I did. Dilaudid did absolutely nothing, after several tries even with the IV, they tried a combination. This caused me to have a seizure. I was completely aware of what was going on but had no control over anything. My right hand started flinching and it felt like cold air blowing on it, when I look down at my hand I lost control of my neck. It was like my neck folded and cut off my breathing. That’s when a lot of people came running in the room. One lady was holding my head up as they laid me back in the bed. When I finally got control I couldn’t speak no matter how hard I tried my mouth wouldn’t let words come out. That was scary. After that my meds were given to me in intervals but I still could ask for pain meds anytime I wanted them. Now they were Oxycontin tablets which kind of scared me. I don’t want to be a pill addict except I’m not craving them as a buzz, I need them when I can’t hold out any longer.

The other thing I liked was the food. The place had their own cooks and I wasn’t on any special diet. I had a big menu to order anything I wanted, and I did. They fed me well and nothing I had was bad. I ate everything I ordered.

room_2

One other thing was my bed. When I went to my three hours a day physical therapy (which is a whole other story) I’d come back to all new sheets and pillow cases, the bathroom was clean and trash taken out. I was suppose to stay until May 22 but they came in on May 15 and told me I was leaving on the 17th. I didn’t want to leave, I had another week but they felt I was o.k. to go home. My last day I got up, took a bath and dressed myself. The ride home kept changing times. First it was 11am, then it was 4pm, then 6:30pm. They finally show up at 7:30pm and they wheeled me into a transportation bus and strapped me in. I was kind of afraid to go home on my own but every morning I wake up something new is going on inside me. Sometimes it’s good and other time, like today, it’s horrible. One thing I’m learning is the nervous system is a strange thing, the other thing I’m finding out is nerves repairing themselves is the most agonizing pain I’ve ever endured. I’m working on a drawing I came up with while I was here. Sitting up for any length of time is a little painful but I’ll get it done.

the city

I use to live in the city. It was above a pretty popular restaurant which made living there a pain in the ass. If I left during the day I would have to park pretty far away until they closed then go get my car and move it back where I could see it. For once I really didn’t like the other people that lived up there. The one kept getting into my mail box until I threatened him. I’m pretty laid back but I will get in peoples faces if they piss me off. The other neighbor I called him Joe Dirt. That’s exactly who he looked like, the hair and everything. He was straight from the ’80’s. The owner evicted the mailbox guy then changed the locks at the entrance. He tried to get back in and Joe Dirt went to talk to him. Joe, being a little slow, forgot he left hamburgers grilling on his oven caught his kitchen on fire which set off the buildings fire alarms. The fire department shows up at this historic landmark thanks to these two clowns. This was in the summer, so it’s around 90 degrees out and we had to evacuate the building. I was pissed because I just got home from work and I was working a few beers. Don’t interrupt my fucking beers, god dammit! The other guy was evicted for not paying his rent. I mean it was only $400 a month, WTF. So he destroyed everything in his unit. Then it was just me up there. I think the owner liked it that way, I was responsible and kept and eye on his building. But I didn’t want to be his after hours security. I didn’t want to be responsible for anything that happened to that building. It was a popular restaurant, even the local news personalities ate there in the late morning. I really liked the apartment. It was kept up for as old as it was. New cabinets, new hardwood and ceramic tile floors. The one thing I didn’t like was I felt like I was always on stage there. I had to go past all the customers in the parking lot to get to the second floor stairs. And it was two flights of metal stairs, those things made some noise too. Once inside I felt safe. I liked my place, I liked the view of downtown and Broad Street. In the very back is where I kept my computer and tech stuff. I didn’t even have a living room because this is where I spent all my time. The window and balcony to my left was a nice view at night. The streets calmed, the lights dimmed and the city went quiet. This is where I forgot everything and went into another world.

OFFICE

 

I finally get my surgery next week. I’m probably typing this because I’m wigged out on Oxycodone and Gabapetin and I’m not even aware I’m doing this. But anything is better than the excruciating pain I’m normally in. Just one more week…

 

 

picture and a whine

I should whine more than I do. Or acknowledge that’s something’s not right instead of thinking it will pass. It’s been months telling myself I’ll get better soon and go about my life as it was. It wouldn’t fix itself and gradually I sought help only because pain hurts, it really does. And when it really hurts to where it’s your only fixation, I had to give up the facade that I was O.K. I’ve always saw everything in a positive light (except my art) and never let much bother me. So giving in wasn’t at the top of my list. Today, I gave in. Finally after months of crippling pain I got an answer. My big problem was the MRI. I was scared to death of that thing sucking me in. Twice I tried but flipped out and stopped just moments after that machine started. Claustrophobia doesn’t play fair. As a matter of fact I had never thought I was claustrophobic. It could have been the combination of things. I think plugging my ears was the cause. Cutting off a sense made the rest of me hyper aware of everything else. But this time I gave in to my fear. I closed my eyes and wished away the agony I’ve endured for the last six months. Then it was over. Twenty minutes of pure panic and I made it.

Today I get the phone call. The hospital name shining like a beacon in my caller I.D. and I even answered this time. Casey was so nice. She knew how to talk and made everything easy to take in. She didn’t know how much I appreciated what she was telling me. To her it was just her profession, to me it was a ton of weight lifted off my soul. In a few days the neurosurgeon will be contacting me. At least I finally have peace knowing that I’ll be taken care of. It will probably take all my life savings but will be worth it. All I want is to be normal again. I want to walk and sit and sleep like I use to. I want it the way it was. I think I finally understand I’m not 18 anymore and have physical limits I can’t exceed.

By the way it’s a spine injury. My entire spine from my neck down. So pretty much my entire being hurts. And I never kept it a secret from the doctors that I’m getting non prescribed Oxycontin. I took it that far to where the worst opioid available is my only relief and I’m getting it illegally. It has it’s place and it’s the only few hours of relief. I wouldn’t say it’s addicting. I don’t feel I need it until the pain is unbearable and those few hours of sleep are worth the price I’m paying. One thing I’m aware of is none of them said to stop, but none of them have offered anything else to replace it.

After I got my phone call this morning a sense of of calm came over me. It felt good to know something, to know anything. I got dressed which takes a long time to do now. I keep my shoes tied so I can slip them on. The belt is in my pants and the shirt is already buttoned and on a hanger waiting to be slipped on. It’s funny how I’ve adapted to living like this. I live alone if that’s not obvious. I mean who the hell would want…

Back to the story; I get down my stairs and look out the back door to see snow. I love the snow and winter. This just adds to my excitement. I want to walk and get fresh air and move around. When I opened my front door a calm came over me. It was the perfect ambient atmosphere. The snow muffling the sounds, the temperature just above freezing, no wind. Here is what I saw as I exited my front door. Welcome to my front yard.

 

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a picture

We had a good snow over the week end but it was kind of cold out. I didn’t get any decent¬†pictures¬†this time because there were too many animal tracks. Wednesday was boring a work, I just kind of did a whole lot of nothing and got paid for it. The way the office is set up, you can’t see me when you walk by the door. They usually just walk right in yelling my name even if I’m not in there. I was just doing things to keep busy and I thought there were birds in the bushes outside my widow. Being bored I walked over to watch. Instead there were three deer eating the bushes. I took a few pictures before I heard a loud voice yelling five feet from me, “MIKE I BEEN LOOKING ALL OVER FOR YOU”. I mumbled back “younutscantleavemealoneforfivefuckingminutes”. I gave her the Shush! signal to be quiet and she yells, “WHATCHALL LOOKING AT” (it was just me, no crowd) as she slams up against the glass door and scared them off.

 

deer

 

No big deal, just throwing this out there.

 

 

new project #73

I’m trying to correct the previous attempts at this one. The orbs should be going back instead of forward. Large to small, I think. I haven’t got there yet. I wanted to try different shading. The first thing I tried was smaller Micron pins (.03 and .05) but they weren’t that much smaller than a .08 running dry. Digging through my drawers of crap I’ve bought and forgot about I found an old charcoal pencil. I’ve had this since the ’80’s, think I’ve found a use for it now. See what I can do with this new found wonder.

 

#73_new

 

 

sun glasses

sunglass

 

At work they put the fall decorations out. These glass jars were set in a back room out of the way. I was getting ready to leave this afternoon and came out to tell everyone I’ll see them Friday. Instead I saw the sun shining through these jars. Reminded me of the 80’s.

 

 

the past

t-bucket

 

My father built this 1932 T Bucket in the 70’s and completed it in 1980. I drove it in a few parades and remember it being very hard to stop because it only had drum brakes in the rear with no front brakes at all. A lot of the parts were hand made in the machine shop he worked at. I always thought he finished it to keep his mind off our mother who passed away that spring. But then I also thought he sold it to let go of the memories of her. For $5,000 someone got a great deal.

 

 

mistakes

I missed a row of shading and kept going. I made the first arrow point in the wrong direction and kept going. My pen ran out, the new one’s tip wasn’t worn making it a larger line and I kept going. I replaced my desk lighting with an LED bulb. Now I can see and now I have to start this one over. Doesn’t look like much but that’s 4 days of drawing.

mistakes