Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Okay, so it's been over a year.

Well, at least I'm still alive.

For the natural-born detectives, investigators, copyeditors and simply astute observers, one will note that the original masthead, "An Ordinary American" is back, replacing "Texan." Multiple reasons for that and I'll (probably) address a few of them in upcoming topics on slow days.

But with the ever-growing amount of asshats inside the beltway and in each state capital and inside each City Hall in every American municipality, shouldn't be too many slow days.

In brief--

• Got rushed to the hospital last February as I suddenly became sicker than hell and had pain in the chest and mid-right side that not only would not go away but got continuously worse.

Turns out my appendix decided to go rogue on me, so it's off to the ER we go, hi-ho, hi-ho, hi-ho.

A few hours later, that sucker is gone and in some new surgeon's scrapbook or empty peanut butter jar as a souvenir. All is good, I'm thinking and a few days later they wheel my butt out the front doors and inform my lovely wife that her vacation of solitude and peace in the house is over.

• A week and a half later, I'm having lunch with the oldest adopted daughter and the adopted grandsons and the four-year-old informs mom that "Gwampa izzn't wooking so good." Mom concurs and calls the wife who concurs and all the while I'm running this fever of 103F and it's going up faster than the bullshit detector needle while listening to Hillary and Obama talk about Benghazi.

Six hours later, back in the ER. It seems that the rogue appendix had ruptured during its removal and so now I had an abscess and one helluva infection.

The quack they sent to fix me this time was a retired military doc (you know where this is going, I bet). Treatment? Hook me up to a pole with lots of tubes and pump IVs and antibiotics and pain meds (read: morphine, then dilaudid) into me for four days at a cost of just under $28K a day for this incredible, brilliant medical treatment. On the fifth day, as my temperature continued to rise along with my blood pressure, I'd had enough and uttered the magic words:

Malpractice lawsuit.

Two hours later, I was wheeled into radiology where a (real) doc took his cameras and scopes and lasers and suction gadgets and other assorted hardware, put me under, went back in one of the original incisions and pulled out the abscess and cleaned everything up. Within a couple of hours I was already feeling better. Within eight hours, I was off all the IVs including pain meds.

A few weeks later, at home recovering, I got the bills in. It seems my local quack hospital chose a surgeon's group not covered in my Blue Cross network. In fact, this quack group isn't covered under anyone's network--they're a cash and malpractice group.

I told them where to stick the bill. They sent collectors after me. I sent lawyers after them. All is now quiet.

Imagine.

• Lots of reloading and flying this summer. Acquired a new Beretta PX4 in 9mm that is now my daily carry, replacing the 92. Acquired a Smith and Wesson Model 17-4 to go with the other S&W hoglegs.

• Back in the medical world in September. Pain in the chest below the right side of the rib cage would not go away. I suspected gall bladder, but what the hell do I know? Only way to find out in today's medical corporate world is to run a battery of tests, so batter me they did.

A gastroindigestion quack announced that I was in the early stages of liver failure due to my excessive alcohol consumption and that he would need to stick a camera up my ass (colonoscopy) to confirm his diagnosis. It doesn't take much imagination to guess what my response was. On a side note, November 1 of this year will mark 30 years of absolute sobriety, so the excessive alcohol intake was about as far off as a diagnosis could be.

Off to see some other thoracic specialist and in the course of countless CT scans and MRIs and who knows what else that involved bad-tasting liquids and cold steel tables, they found a tumor on my adrenal gland.

Uh-oh.

So we go from gall bladder and a simple operation to now, "Mr. American, if this tumor ruptures, you will not live to see Easter of next year." And we go for more tests and biopsies and x-rays and scans and MRIs. I even had an ultrasound, for crying out loud. Imagine being a guy and sitting in a waiting room full of bubbling, expectant women with bulging bellies all complaining about swollen ankles, aching backs but can't wait to find out if their baby will take its leaks sitting down or standing up.

Finally I go see a doc (surgeon) who's left his initials inside my thoracic cavity on previous occasions and he tells me he's got it covered. We schedule a surgery a week or so before Christmas, he opens me up, removes a bad gall bladder, sticks his iPhone inside my guts and goes racing around like our four-year-old grandson with a Tonka Truck and takes pictures of everything including his new wedding band (barely visible underneath his glove).

Tumor is benign, liver is hardening, gall bladder is gone. Pain in rib cage and abdominal area persists, probably always will. Pain in pocketbook is acute.

Above Reproach continues to sell steadily and I've been enjoying (mostly) positive feedback from readers. The anti-gun folks send me real nice e-mails but it's obvious that they are as ignorant about anatomy and sexual acts as they are the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

• The second book, False Gods, is getting closer to head off to the editor. Probably another three weeks so so before it's ready to ship off. The cover absolutely kicks ass.

The novel returns many of the characters from Above Reproach and deals with the three "false gods" which are Big Government, Big Business and Wall Street and how the three are in collusion with each other to destroy the middle class.

So far, excellent feedback from the beta readers, and I'm even more excited about seeing this book into publication than I was the first.

I'm going to be in near virtual hibernation for the next few weeks getting the manuscript finished and polished and ready to send out, but seeing as how the weather here in Texas is about as appealing as an Obama selfie, there's no better time to buckle down and get 'er done.

In the meantime for the rest of today, I think I'll be content to sit here in my big ol' overstuffed leather recliner by the fireplace (making sure to leave a healthy carbon footprint), make sure the Keurig stays full of water and enjoy my newest discovery--hot green tea with a bit of unfiltered honey in it stirred with a cinnamon stick and sipped from a coffee mug with the H&K logo on it with their tagline, "In a world of compromise, some don't."

That's right. That's me.


8 comments:

Ben Rushing said...

Glad to have an ordinary American back. Seems that there's little ordinary about an ordinary American. I'd sure like to be a beta reader on False Gods. Keep doing well, enjoy the tea, come back to KIER when you can.

Old NFO said...

Welcome back Sir! And glad you've 'survived' 2013!!! Looking forward to the new book!

kx59 said...

And all this time I thought you were just seriously pissed off.

glad to find you alive and kicking after all the trials and tribulations.
Looking forward to the next book.

Erin Palette said...

I thought maybe you'd had enough BS and gone dark. Or maybe stroked out...

Good job for sticking it to the quacks, and well done for surviving 2013!

DoninSacto said...

So good to see you back. Always enjoyed your lucid thoughts about the inside the beltway dwebs. Stay healthy.

Bob Easton said...

Welcome back!!!

Your timing is perfect; I've just about run out of dystopian literature. Need some more soon.

Seriously, stay well. We need you.

Robert Fowler said...

Welcome back. I'm waiting patiently (sort of) for the next book. The first one was excellent.

.45ACP+P said...

JD, it is good to have you back. I hope I can catch you the next time you come to Virginia.