Okay, the cartoon above isn't that funny since it reminds us that the "vaccines" aren't, and that as miracle drugs go, Paxlovid is about as impressive as a birthday magician pulling a quarter from behind a 5-year-old's ear. Although in fairness, the magician once did that trick in the Oval Office and Joe Biden is still regularly checking his ears for more change.
Mostly, I'm just posting because it's been about a week since I put anything up and I want people to know that Daughter J and I are still chugging along, albeit without a lot of momentum yet. I think I've mentioned that I thought of a minor writing project to distract myself with, right? Well, I have - but the artist I've hired for the job has been out sick lately. Covid? I don't know that it is, but why in Heaven's name wouldn't it be? Anyway, when the project is completed you'll read about it here first - and you'll be able to get your own copy, probably free, at the same time.
I'm currently drinking huge quantities of water (sans Clan MacGregor) in order to hydrate for a possible blood donation on Monday. I say "possible" because so far I've only been able to produce blood once in four visits. Seriously, the staff at the blood bank were high-fiving a turnip for giving more blood than me. Oh, I show up all pink, willing, and sloshy but my veins just skedaddle in the presence of needles or petulantly shut down after giving a single drop of blood. Which is frankly hard on me emotionally. I thought my grand purpose in life at this point would be to bleed extravagantly for those who need it and instead my role just seems to be to keep the chair warm for the next donor. But if at first you suck at bleeding, try, try again.
My weight loss program has been an abject failure to date although I haven't seen any increase in weight because I'm not stepping on a scale again except at gunpoint. It turns out that the funny thing about coping behaviors is that you need them to cope. But I'm working on healthier coping. In fact, I just got a book on living joyfully which was co-authored by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu - and I've never seen a picture of either of them scarfing down a big bag of barbecue chips so I figure they have a lot of useful advice for me.
I also now own every conceivable book about Grief and Grieving, which sounds like the title of a really depressing Jane Austen novel. Which isn't the writing project I referred to earlier, but it's definitely going on my idea list.
(sings chorus of "Hello, Dalai")
Don't give up The Battle of the Bulge, Stilt, just takes two minor things:
We're rootin' for ya!!
Gropey Joe's problems are either covid or Putin's fault. No malarkey!
Don't sell your cartoon short! I laughed until I cried, and I desperately needed a laugh today. That's what you're good at -- not giving blood. I know you want to, but you and I have veins that don't cooperate. Also, little known fact, but, at least where I come from, the best phlebotomists aren't drawing blood for donation.
If you're determined, tell them to give you a warm cloth to put on the spot they think is likeliest, and use a baby needle. It helps for smaller veins that "skedaddle." It's wonderful that you want to give blood, but giving people a much needed laugh on a hard day is healing, too! Thanks!
3M hit the obvious Hello Dolly joke. I'm assuming the book is on ballet because of its Tutu author?
So your attempts to donate have been in vein? Buh dum bump...
No paid spokesman or shill am I, but after 3 years of successfully and unvaccinated dodging the 'rona, Thursday it caught up with me and I am now nearing the end of my 5-day isolation.
As for Paxlovid, perhaps I may have just a mild case of the 'rona, but in my case, it's been near magical in easing discomfort.
I won't go into numbers, but I believe you've had more trips around the sun than I, and I've had a lot.
My desire to donate was shut down because of all the drugs they give me to keep me chugging. But there's this pesky "spirit is willing" thing, so I've turned my efforts more to being a cheerleader than a player. I check my local blood bank for times and locations, and do my best to get the word out to those who can donate.
The bottom line is to get folks bleeding into bags, right? You might not realize it, but I'd be willing to bet that there are already folks who decided to donate based on your continuing exploits.
As for losing weight, my trip to the doctor last week showed no increase in my weight (and a continuing decrease in my A1c,) so I'm happy!
As long as you keep chugging along, the momentum will come. We're all rooting for you, Stilt.
Something I can never get an answer for is if you haven't been jabbed and you need blood,do you get a choice of vaxed or non vaxed.Does it get kept separate or all thrown in the mix.If you are given blood with vax what would you get with it?
Chug chug chug Stilton!
Rooting for you in Indiana!!!!!!!!
Silt, your humor and perseverance keeps me going. I'm still grieving the loss of my brother (killed in the line of duty as a Police Officer). I don't know what's harder, watchingva loved one due a slow death, or receiving the dreaded call in the middle of the day when I thought I was having a bad day because yhe printer ran out of toner...
Keep Moving, treat yourself to the occasional wee dram of the good stuff, and write the book as we all need your prose to keep us laughing.
Semper Fidelis, Buck
Good Morning Stilt, great to see you surface once more, hope you and your daughter are moving on along on your journeys. Sometimes just being is enough each day so, there's that.
Glad that your creative juices are flowing. Just glad that your vital bodily fluids are still flowing.
Don't worry so much about the weight loss program. The Progressives are working on one that will be sure-fire successful. It's a combination of what they tried in Sri Lanka which mandated "organic" farming and Germany's Energiewende program which went all in on unreliables to replace coal and nuclear. Between starvation and shivering in unheated homes this winter, people will be guaranteed to be losing weight.
A bonus of giving blood (at least with the American Red Cross) is that they'll tell you your COVID antibody status. (It's either "negative", "Yeah, you got them", and "Please come back because we want more of your blood to use as serum") I'm in the "Yeah, you got them" category, so I no longer stress the Wuhan Flu any more than I stress getting Monkeypox.
We must tell Joe that one doesn't go blind from covid, he'll go blind from what he's doing to the American people.
Good to hear from you again!
Stilt I'm glad you and your daughter are still kicking. as someone else stated that in and of itself sometimes is enough for the day.
As to the blood have, they tried both arms? My left arm looks like a dart board because the veins in the right like to roll. They can be hit but it takes the right person and the right phase of the moon to get it to happen. Right now, I'm scheduled to go again on Thursday, and I think this will be my sixth pint towards my eleven-gallon pin. I donate to balance my Karma for being a jerk most of the time. It's something I can do and it doesn't take too long or really hurt.
Hope to see your book soon.
Semper Gumby, Always Flexible. The unofficial National Guard motto.
Good morning, Stilt -
It's been a couple of decades since I stopped giving blood. I don't remember what medication it was that I took that made them say "Nevermore". Or perhaps it was a combination. Too bad, because my veins are large and high. When it's time for a blood test, phlebotomists love me.
As for weight loss, I decided about a month ago to try to lose ten pounds. This morning I stepped on the scale to discover that I've gained nine. My nurse told me not to worry about it, in time it'll come falling off.
While my library was rather extensive, before being donated in several different directions, my sole book on grief was C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed. It deals with the injustice of it all after his wife died and the presence of God, or lack thereof, while it was happening. He originally published it under a pen name, I believe because he didn't wish to let people know how he questioned God in his grief. Shortly after his death it was reissued under his name, for which I am glad. Otherwise I might never have read it.
Keep on keeping' on, my friend. It will get better, albeit slowly. I'm still praying for you and Daughter J.
Buck, my sincere condolences for the loss of your brother. As a retired cop (among other things) I have been to dozens of police officers' funerals, several of them friends or close friends. Just hearing the first few notes of Amazing Grace brings tears to my eyes. That sudden, definite loss is devastating. There is never a way to prepare for it. It shakes you to your bones. May God's grace be with you and your family. He gave his life serving us. And I am grateful.
Good to see your post as always Stilton.
I'm what's known as an easy stick, veins the size of an LA freeway. Unfortunately, with my recent diagnosis of prostate cancer, I'm no longer able to donate. Bummer. Depending on what course of treatment I opt for, I may be eligible for donation if and when I'm cancer free for a year. Gives me something to look forward to.
Some people might recommend "just get a hobby" in an effort to help with the grief. Their intentions are good, and throwing ice water in their face is usually unproductive, although it does give a few moments of joy.
See, when you sit down to do your thing at the blood bank just close your eyes and think about donuts. Or your favorite tipple, whichever works. I've had blood drawn so many times I have permanent marks in a few spots. You can be that causes a few raised eyebrows at times but then they look at my medical history and just shake their heads. I'm a very popular person at the checkups I have to go to, lol, "We need to check your blood again Ms. B., the last one looked a little weird.".
Jokes aside, my third pregnancy was a big round of you need to come in for another blood draw. It was a stressful pregnancy combined with needing to move. (We lived in tent with two kids and a newborn for several months before being able to find a place). Then there was the "brownie incident". I made two pans of brownies one day and frosted them, stress cooking. Unfortunately I kept going back and nibbling on one pan, stress eating, until I decided there wasn't much left in the pan and I might as well finish it off. The day before a doctor's checkup, lol. Yeah, my blood sugar was just a tad high that time and they panicked. This was also the kid that scared a nurse because their heart monitor showed two babies, and another showed triplets. The doc said no, just one. The monitors weren't working right and I figured the baby was just on a sugar high for awhile. That kid was always a little hyper, lol.
I beg to differ, the cartoon is funny. I laughed at it!
I've always had skimpy veins, so I always tell them, "Bet you can't find it!" (vein, that is). Once a nurse said, "I'll go get our VEIN WHISPERER." By gum she found it! Another time a nurse gave up and drew it from my leg. However, in old age my skin is so fragile I can bleed from bumping the kitchen counter. Maybe I should try that at the next blood letting...
Stilt: You should look up any local palliative care center near you. They usually have grief groups that meet weekly to help you understand what you are going through and how best to deal with it.
@M. Mitchell Marmel- Even now, I hear Louis Armstrong's dulcet voice...
@Igor- I'll keep fighting the flab, although that promise would be more meaningful if I hadn't just eaten a slice of blueberry creme cake. Which I did.
@JustaJeepGuy- Despite Joe's promises, I am seeing malarkey in abundance. Impeachable offense?
@Hyzenthlay- I'm delighted to announce that I WAS able to give a bag of blood yesterday, and now have a record of which arm, which vein, which phlebotomist, and what phase of the moon we were in when it finally worked. And as a karmic reward, I got a call from the blood bank a short while ago saying they had some "good news" for me, which made a LOT of possibilities go through my mind. But it turns out that they're doing a promotion to encourage donations, and I won $500. This is legit. The money, in turn, will be donated by me in whole or in part to the Leukemia Society (LLS.org). And the only reason that it might be "in part" would be if I decide to split it among charities.
@Mike aka Proof- You're right about the book so I expect it to keep me on my toes.
@Anonymous- Cruel but funny (grin).
@Fish Out of Water- I may have been rough on Paxlovid in my commentary because I've also heard from people who say it helps a lot. Still, the "rare" Paxlovid rebound has recently hit Fauci and Biden, making me think it's not that rare.
@Anonymous- As I said above, I WAS able to give blood (Hosanna!) but will also keep up my efforts to encourage others to give. I spent my whole life just not thinking about it, then saw first-hand the people who depend on those donations. Made me feel like an a-hole for not giving until now, but I'll do what I can to make up for it.
@Jerryskids- Right now I'm not feeling momentum, but I'm mostly able to defeat (or at least dent) inertia each day. That's a start, right?
@Bones- That's an interesting question and I have no idea of the answer. At the blood center, they DO ask if you've had any injections in the past weeks, so maybe they actually pay attention. Or maybe they assume that after a few weeks the vaccine is so attenuated that it might as well not be there.
@Anonymous- That's me, the Little Engine That Could (eat his weight in barbecue chips).
@Buck- Damn. I hope you're cool with man-hugs because I'm sending you a man-hug right now. I had a college roommate/friend who became a police officer and died in the line of duty in the first year or so. The first death of a contemporary I'd really experienced until then, and it hammered home for me what our officers put on the line for us every day.
I've thought about the question of which is harder on survivors- the sudden, unexpected loss or the drawn-out death from illness. Both are as bad as anything can be, but I think if I'd lost Kathy more suddenly it would have broken me. Over the course of six months I was involuntarily and incrementally strengthened enough to more or less survive.
And the book(let) project I'm working on is indeed intended to make people laugh, so there's something we can hopefully all look forward to.
@OldTexan- "Just being" is often the goal these days. Some call it "mindfulness" or just "living in the moment." And it genuinely is the healthiest thing to do.
@John the Econ- You're right that the progressive agenda is apt to cause a lot of weight loss (and population loss). Regarding Covid antibody testing, the blood center I use only did that until December of last year. Which is a pity, because I'd REALLY like to know if I've ever had Covid without knowing it. It would notch down my concerns a bit. I think. Maybe. (Aha! It looks like I can get the test locally for free if I set up an appointment with the lab I sometimes use).
@Fred Ciampi- I think Joe could go blind from Covid. Have you seen the way he batters his eyeballs while trying to get a mask on?
@Bob- I just like to show up and wave from time to time so no one worries. Thanks!
@John25mm- Good on you for all those blood donations! Even if I stick to the schedule, I don't think I'll live long enough to hit that 11 gallon mark - but I'll do what I can! And yes, in the past they've tried both arms and multiple sticks. And this has been the case with me for years and years. But now we may have identified the "cooperative" vein in my right arm for future use.
There's no official timetable on the book, but it's my hope that it will be ready before Christmas.
@Paul Donohue- Kathy was a great fan of C.S. Lewis and I may have to seek out "A Grief Observed" after hearing your endorsement. Thanks for your prayers on our behalf and know that they're being reciprocated.
@TrickyRicky- I've got a good friend (hard to believe, I know, but some people tolerate me) who has just completed what appears to be successful treatment for prostate cancer. He get radiation daily for about 6 weeks, I think, and did very well with it. He also gets Lupron injections to suppress testosterone (the same drug we hear debate about when it's used as a puberty blocker for alleged trans-kids) and now he gets menopausal hot flashes. Bodies are funny that way. I hope your treatment is entirely successful - keep me posted!
@Jess- If throwing ice water on people WAS my hobby, then I guess we'd all be happy! And when it comes to "helpful" advice from people, I take it gratefully in the spirit intended whether it's useful advice or not.
@mamafrog- I was definitely trying to think chill thoughts to keep my veins open, but when the phlebotomists started calling each other over and checking both of my arms I unavoidably tensed up. But they eventually struck oil and didn't tell me I was having triplets, so all-in-all a good day.
@Anonymous- Glad you enjoyed the cartoon! Certainly it was intended to be funny...I just wasn't sure if it actually got there.
@MR. GOOSE- There's such a thing as a "vein finder" device that lights up your arm and shows where the veins are, but my blood bank doesn't have any. I asked if they'd use it if I bought one myself (about $500) and was told that it wouldn't be permitted. And I've offered to let them draw blood from my arms, legs, hands, or feet but apparently their rules are "only the arms."
@udaman- I may do something like that. I see a therapist and she's very helpful, but our sessions aren't specifically grief-centered. I'm tremendously introverted but I might push myself to try a group session.
Stilt: You might also want to check out C.S. Lewis' "Surprised by Joy". (His wife's name was "Joy"). Lewis was a big fan of puns, too.
Ooops, you're right @Stilton about the COVID test thing. I gave 2 weeks ago and I checked today and the Red Cross is no longer doing the antibody test. Too bad, I thought that was great. (They were still doing it the last time I gave during the spring)
As for the Wuhan Flu, I think it's pretty much done as a epidemic. Joe himself has pretty much demonstrated that it's now largely a done issue; It will remain endemic, just like all the other flu viruses we have to deal with. But shutting down the world over it is over. The crisis industrial complex has since officially moved on to the monkeypox, which unless you're into the gay bathhouse orgy thing, you are pretty much safe from.
Oh, and if you think that "monkeypox" is racist because it includes "monkey", you might be the racist.
@Mike aka Proof- A friend just gifted me with "The Book of Joy" by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, so C.S. Lewis's wife apparently really got around back in the day.
@John the Econ- I'm getting my anti-depressants increased a bit (surprise!) and so needed to schedule a lab appointment for some blood tests and a pee-analysis to make sure I'm not abusing my cool drugs (I'm not). That being the case, I've added in a Covid antigen test while I'm there. I think it's $6 out of pocket and $42 if Medicare decides to say "no." That's worth it to me for whatever information it will give me.
And I wrote a headline which I posted in a forum at The Babylon Bee: "Progressives Say Monkeypox Name Is Racist Because Wink-Wink Nudge-Nudge." Seriously, you CAN'T make that accusation unless you just reflexively equate black people with monkeys. And I think there's a word for that...
I'm so sorry for your loss. It must be hard. But you will make the journey. I'm still grieving the loss of my dad 3 years ago. I will always miss him. He was a very good man. I almost lost the love of my life over Independence day weekend. She passed out suddenly July 3rd late in the evening while she, my two older brothers and I were in mom's living room talking and laughing. It was very sudden. She said she was thirsty (it was very hot that day and we had spent most of it outside).She went to open her bottle of water and then leaned over and spilled water over her and my legs. I said Becca, get up! She didn't. She wasn't breathing. I yelled at my DR. Brother to help me get her to the floor. He did. She then started breathing again and regained a pulse. My brother said "isn't adrenaline great?" We had to get her to an Emergency room so they could give her IV saline for dehydration. I've never been more terrified. We've been together 30 years. I can't imagine.
You've brought me a lot of laughs over the years I've I you. You are in my prayers.
Stilton, is this some of your work?
@Jeffersonian- I'm so sorry about your Dad. As nearly as I can tell, "healing" doesn't mean the pain goes away but rather that you learn to live with it - and it's not easy.
And your story about Becca is scary - I'm so glad for the happy ending! Treat every day together as special and important because it is.
@bruce wayne- This is absolutely my work! When it comes to good, hard boning people have trusted my family for years. And as the article points out women, in particular, can benefit from ingesting two ounces of Jarlsberg daily. Science doesn't lie.
Mr. Jarlsberg: OMG; you are clearly on your way back.
I get a blood test the first business day of every month (I clot very easily so have to check PTT/INR). I try to alternate arms so that I don't start to leak!
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