Posts Tagged ‘aging’

The Dear of St. Croix

December 4, 2010

I guess that when my wife was alive I still talked to all the other dears in my life. Now that she is dead, it is ironic that this is the only deer that listens to me and doesn’t run when I talk to her and tell her how beautiful she is. Without further comment, I present my new dear.

This is my back yard and she is about 50 feet away and I took her picture and talked to her for about a half hour I used to do this when Dolores was alive and she thought I was nuts back then. I guess nothing much has changed. I am starting to see my dear on a daily basis..


Is My Daughter a Chick Magnet?

July 3, 2010

I went to to confirm the current usage of “chick magnet” only to find that young hip people have it all wrong. Contemporary usage seems to imply that it’s a hot car or really good looking well built guy that just seems to attract all the woman.

I can tell you it is definitely not a hot car. It scares the crap out of most of my dates when I speed and over- drive my Toyota MR 2. The only woman I know who enjoy the power are my daughter, my niece and my former wife Dolores. As a matter of fact, Dolores’ self image had her drive a 4 wheel drive Jeep, but when we went out, she wanted me to take the MR-2, drop her at the entrance and go park the car. Now this could hardly be called a chick magnet as it’s all family even though Dolores encouraged me to have sporty cars from when we were first dating and before kids.

The reason that the new definition leaves me cold is that there is nothing much I can do about my age and looks to become a contemporary chick magnet so I have to assume the definition is wrong or give up on women flocking to me. However, in my youth, the concept of chick magnet was something a man could control and is still apparent to this day.

A man with a baby strolling through the mall always attracts attention and some women with the biological urge to reproduce just can’t help walking up to touch the baby or comment on the child. You don’t have to beg for an introduction, the women come to you. Unfortunately, I don’t do babies until they are out of diapers and toilet trained and by the time they are three, babies have lost the chick magnet appeal and may be more a chick repellent as young women are forced to ponder the inevitable end result to a close sexual relationship.

Another popular chick magnet is those cute little dogs with fluffy hair that are not much bigger than a cat or a rat. Once again this ploy wouldn’t work for me as I think animals are not to be seen in public places but to be eaten. I would rather be celibate than to be seen walking a little rat dog around the mall pathetically seeking solace from young women.

Thank God I have discovered the concept of success breeds success. I really try to never fight with ex-girlfriends as they or I move on in life and since I seem to have the luck to be with attractive, intelligent wonderful woman, there is no reason not to go out and be seen with them and just have fun when the romance is out of the relationship. One ex-girlfriend is the life of the party that many want to be like and get to know. If I notice someone who is attractive to me hanging around the edge of my ex’s circle of friends, I check with the ex and if she agrees, I invite both out for drinks.

I have never been turned down and half the time it ends up in the Hot Tub. My ex is my best advertisement and link to new friends. Of course, I have other ex’s who would do everything to sabotage future relationships and keep me celibate.

I have a young friend who has the body of a Greek God and the personality of a TV star. Unfortunately, she has no personal interest in me whatsoever and in general she is living a life of celibacy. It’s almost a total waste except that if I take her to a place like Hooters everyday for a week and then go alone inevitably a waitress will come ask me about my friend and breaking up and start a conversation about relationships etc. It seems the waitress wants to know what I have that allows me to date young attractive people and how can she get some of whatever good is there.

This curiosity runs to me and my daughter and in a weird sort of way she is a much better magnet than my celibate friend or ex-girlfriends. Seems my daughter actually cares about whether I live or die and am happy or not and is not just there for a drinks or a free meal. When she notices an unduly interested waitress, she draws them out in an unnatural fashion and I hear the darnedest things. “Oh, he’s your father, I was wondering what made him special” at which point my daughter actually pitched my virtues to someone half my age.

My daughter the Chick Magnet, you got to love her.

If You Can Tolarate the Food, You Can Leave the Hospital.

June 30, 2010

Tolerate is an interesting word and I wish I had my camera to take pictures of the food I was being asked to tolerate.  I went to the hospital at 5:30 am and woke up about 4:30 pm. I had leggings on my leg working in a peristaltic manner that could move the blood through my legs two days after I was dead,  I have  already written about the catheter but also had six needles and two blood pressure devices probing my body and my first quest ion was when would it all be removed and when could I leave the hospital.

My first test was if I could tolerate the liquid food, I would get solid food and then they would check me for discharge.  If I didn’t eat the food, I couldn’t go home.  Dinner that night was the color and surface texture of old-fashioned concrete blocks with their characteristic gray color and white pebbles occasionally poking through the surface.  I protested that this was an unfair test as on the healthiest  day of my life I would never cook, serve or eat a meal that looked that bad.  There was no way I would tolerate food that bad and rejected the whole meal.

The next morning was an equally unfair test.  They served a chicken broth made from the powder base that institutions use.  It was barely warm and the salt, fat chunks, and spices were laying undissolved on the bottom of the bowl.  I tested the so-called broth and once again was forced to reject it because it had enough salt to stop my heart and make me a lifelong resident of Largo Medical Center.

I ate the jello, but would have preferred jello shots, drank the juice and drank my tea and begged my nurse for administrative relief from the requirement to tolerate their liquid foods.  She asked about Graham Crackers which was one of the comfort foods of my youth that I rarely eat anymore because of the sugar but jumped at the offer.  I inhaled three packages without problems and was declared fit to eat solid food.

Amazingly, the lunch was tender morsels of beef in a  mushroom onion gravy served over  a bed of noodles. Now this was real food that I would make in my coffee pot, serve and eat.  It was the only meal that I actually ate in the hospital in 36 hours because I simply couldn’t “Tolerate” he thought of anything else.  This is a long ways from the days of my “see food and meet diets”.

I still remember those concepts well, if you see food, eat it.  If you meet food, eat it.

Looks like I have to really thank Cait and Dagny for changing my eating habits and having me start to focus on preparing and eating “meals for one” with flavor, taste and substance that I like and remember from a lifetime of cooking.  The family remembers my Mother as a fairly bad cook,  but in her defense, the poor man’s chicken broth and potato soup that she made and served was a lot better than the hospital food I couldn’t tolerate.

The Concept of Pain

June 25, 2010

The Happy Face Pain Measurement Scale

About one week ago I sent this email to my sister Anne Marie

Leave tomorrow to go to Florida to get my throat cut. Just in time – I am starting to understand the concept of pain which I more or less rejected since football at age 12. This is beginning to piss me off as it is far more bothersome than getting shot at age 14. Broke down the other night because my standard bottle of wine was not enough to put me to sleep so I actually got up and took 4 aspirin.

That’s probably the first step to Oxycontin addiction.

Hope I can get the doctor to prescribe wine in the hospital. I have excellent tolerance to that pain killer over a lifetime of experience and it seems to have muted all physical and even mental pain in my life.

When the doctors do all my strength and blood tests and liver function tests they kind of don’t accept that I drink my bottle a day because I am very well preserved and one doctor even said” it must be red wine.”

Love John

Well I did not get myself a disc fusion because I was worried about pain, I was worried about the thing moving more than the 1/8 inch it had already wandered out of place, crushing my spinal cord and making me a paraplegic. The doctor suggested that with my lifestyle an accidental whiplash was a high probability event. I can stand and live with the concept of pain, I cannot stand the idea of being paralyzed.

I guess that most people who get back operations need them to mitigate pain because that is all the doctors and nurses are trained to talk to you about and I simply wasn’t interested. They give you a pain manual with a happy face chart to define your pain level, the manual describes all the pain medications that you will get including a self administered drug pump to pump pain medicine into your vein until you pass out and wake up in enough pain that you want to do it again. In addition to the injection pump medicines, you can get needles and pills including narcotics.

I told them I wanted none of it and all I wanted was wine and aspirin but couldn’t have the aspirin because of bleeding. Most wanted to know why I wanted the operation if it wasn’t for pain and so I explained the floating disc which didn’t really bother me except for the fear of paralysis. They asked about how I found out and I told them about my ill defined stroke with no know cause that I walked off in an hour and they told me I would need pain medication afterwords, I said not.

On the actual chart that was used on me, the ranges were 0-1, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10. I told them that since 1995 I have never had a pain free day, I just stopped worrying about it because the pain medicines I tried killed my libido and appetite and also gave me nightmares. I decided that sex, food and sleep were three things I needed so I gave up on pills and drank wine and it worked for years.

After my neck was diagnosed as possibly crippling I was told to start thinking about pain and the warning signals I was getting from it. With fear in the picture and listening to the pain signals, I began to feel pain at what I described to be the five to six level prior to the operation.

Just Woke Up to Dagny and My Class 3 Happy Face

I woke up knowing the operation was a success and even had my little 3-4 happy smiley face in place. I refused all pain medicine as I told them I was leaving the next day – no drug pump, no alcohol withdrawal pill, no pain pills, no nothing.

Getting Ready to Dance a Little Irish Jig

The next day I got out of bed alone and the picture of my class 3 happy face was actually pensive as I stood up and did a little Irish jig for my daughter and the nurse to convince them I was fit to go and besides if I hung around the hospital and tripped all over those hoses and wires I would be a liability hazard.

I was disconnect from the wires and hoses and sent upstairs to be checked by the Internist, nurses, physical therapist and every resident and 4th year med student who was curious to see the guy who was insisting on leaving drug free and out of pain the day after his surgery so he could start exercising and get back in shape. The only comment came from the professor who had checked me in and allowed the procedure despite the moderate risk and he told me that perhaps I had understated my pre-operative pain because he thought I looked like I was at the 7-8 level.

I told him I doubted it as when they had pulled the catheter from my penis, I had screamed “Holy F#@*ing – opps, sorry” and accidentally slammed my arm with bandages on the bed rail as I was blinded by pain and swore in front of the nurse and bled about a pint of blood all over the place as it spurted out my vein. I gave that a nine which was at least 4 to 5 hinger than what I was used to and if I was really at 7-8 that would have had to be a 13 which was off the scale.

I guess my every day pain tolerance is different from others and I am glad for that. If I really felt a temporary 9-10 and others live with a daily 7-8, I don’t know how they can stand it and no wonder many resort to pain killers. I hope I never feel a 9-10 pain level again even on a temporary basis.

The sweet nurse forgave me and even apologized even though I was the one who lost it and swore and she was just doing her job.

You just have to love the wonderful staff of Largo Medical Center.

Under the Knife

June 23, 2010

I remember the phrase “under the knife” from my youth and the fear that it invoked mostly because of the fear of the unknown. To me the only unknown factor was whether or not I was fit enough to die. Yesterday, I was declared healthy and able to proceed with my operation,

Seems that I am not the only person who fears the unknown, The biggest issue was the cause of my paralysis incident and whether or not it was a stroke. The team of teaching doctors wanted all the answers before surgery and there was no apparent reason for a stroke. I was in shape, had lost 40 pounds, was eating a healthy diet, and the symptoms were unusual in that it was not complete, didn’t last long enough, and I walked it off without medicine or professional help. Yesterday it was defined as a stroke without the usual symptoms and for unknown causes. This allows them to proceed with surgery after declaring that I was a moderate risk because of their fear of the unknown.

That all doesn’t bother me because there is hope of removal of the neck brace and getting on with my life. I am like one of those high string race horses with a cast on the leg who beats themselves to death in their stall because they cant stand the cast. Last night I drank my wine and went to bed without aspirin and sleep well after I removed the cast in the middle of the night without knowing. I am planning on exercise and Dagny and I are planning on a full recovery in a couple of days.

The pre-surgical paper work is talking about don’t lift 5 pounds, don’t do any strenuous exercise, how to lay flat on your back and wiggle your ankle, don’t drive, the multiple pain medications, don’t swim etc. The only thing I can do is stand up and walk. Dagny and I laid out a 1.5 mile course which I hope we can complete in the 20 minutes of walking time I am supposed to do 3 times a day. Of course, I am supposed to do this outside in Florida without sweating because I am not supposed to shower for a week. And definitely no active sex as if there is any other kind.

Well, the next week will determine whether I am superman of if the caveats of the pre-surgical paperwork are the same for everyone.

American Hygiene & The Miami J Collar

June 21, 2010

I really began to question the personal hygiene of Americans, when I was fitted for my Miami J neck brace. Before I was done wearing it for one day, I was constantly aggravated by the raw skin under my chin from the interaction of the pad and the stubble of my beard. Because of the sensitivity of my skin, I always shaved with one of my wife’s pink razors depleting her supply of fresh new blades while being more or less intimidated by buying my own supply unless on vacation where no one knew me. After all what real man wants to be caught buying pink razor blades by someone he knows.

The brace wasn’t on an hour before I knew it was disgusting. In the next 24 hours, I shaved twice, was stuffing washcloths in front to adsorb the sweat and experiment with everything else from paper towels to tissues. I think I even begged a girlfriend for a pad because women face the same extremes of moisture and shaving stubble hopefully without as much irritation as the Miami J neck brace.

The issue of personal hygiene has always been important to Virgin Islanders. A shower can use 10 to 30 gallons of water depending on how careful you are and then there is the issue of when to shower. Do you do it at night and make your spouse happy or in the morning and make the world happy or how about twice a day. When you have kids who love long showers, the amount of water you use will make it inconvenient when your cistern runs dry and expensive when you buy a new truckload of water.

For me, the morning shower was imperative and additional ones taken as needed based on the amount of sweat and physical activity during the day. Especially now, since the kids are gone from the house and my wife and I never ran out of water.

I had been fitted with the brace with severe warnings i.e. wear it 24 hours a day seven days a week and never take it off or your head may snap and you’ll be paralyzed for life. If you have to clean it, get a friend to do it while you lay flat on your back with your head between two pillows for the two hours it takes to wash and dry the pads. Find a close enough friend that will do this for you and not be interested in recreational sex while you are lying in bed bored to tears because if you have sex, your head might fall off and you will die.

The very next day I went back to the doctors office only to find that the office didn’t know any thing about their being a supply of sanitary pads for the Miami J, so they would get me the Therapist who explained that I should shove a nasty washcloth down my throat and not worry about the appearance. When I complained, he promised to have his distributor contact me which he did. The salesman said he had never heard of such a thing but would check on the availability and I just told him to get me a $100 worth on my credit car and mail them to me. I never herd from him again and I started to worry about the personal hygiene of Americans who could wallow in filth like pigs and not complain.

I then called the manufacture of the device who told me they could not sell me any replacements because I was not a Distributor but they would find me one in the DC area as that was my next trip to America. I have to admit, they recognized that if Americans could be convinced on the need for personal hygiene while convalescing, they would make a lot more money by selling additional replacement pads. The distributor did return my call but had none in stock but would check their records to see if any of the local practitioners had any. None did and that was the end of the trail.

I didn’t bother looking for someone to wash my dirty pads so they could be reused as I considered that an unreasonable test of friendship. In the end when they were disgusting, I washed them myself and since I couldn’t stand the uncomfortable brace just left it off for the 2 hours it took me to do it in my washing machine and dryer. I might have even engaged in recreational sex during the free time without the brace. I also took it off when I went for an hour swim each day and since the thing is so disgusting, I even learned to take it off in the middle of the night when sound asleep. The last one cost when I would sleep in the wrong position and wake up in fairly strong pain.

I also begin to understand why no one complained. Just like a pig would prefer to run free and not to wallow in shit, when confined to a small dirt pen, a pig will learn to eat off the soiled ground and roll around and excitedly wallow in filth while awaiting feeding time. In the end, I learned to accept the sweaty filth and smell of the Miami J without complaining too much or even barely noticing it.

My only fear is that they put this same nasty piece of garbage on my throat after successful surgery and I die from one of those new hospital super bugs that also love to dwell in the sweaty filth of the pads of my Miami J Collar.

Living Will

June 7, 2010

According to Wikipedia, advance health care directives, also known as living wills, are instructions given by individuals specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. The last time I was operated on in Miami, the state forces you to ponder the issue and say pull the plug or keep me alive at all costs.

Now that’s all well and good but incapacity is a very funky word. While I am not expecting any problems because I have faith in my Doctors they are operating on my neck adjacent to my spinal cord and in the past I have suffered momentary paralysis of one leg which I completely recovered from. I do not want to live as a paralyzed person with the current state of medical technology. Let some other person live and become the medical laboratory rat.

Now to make it perfectly clear, If I cannot survive the operation or the lack thereof and still love, cook, eat, drink, screw and set a perfectly bad example for my granddaughters, it is time to pull the plug on what has been a very satisfactory life.

In the meantime, I have employees, family and community all praying for me and anybody who wants can ask my sainted mother (Anne Boyd) to intercede with God on my behalf. (That is a very Catholic Perspective ingrained in my from my youth.)

Meanwhile I notice that my daughter is beginning to think and act a little like her Mother. We only finished Space Camp last week which was her idea from a newspaper story and she has started to plan the next event even though my neck is still in a brace. She sent me following proposal for a Future Adventure.

For ages 3-103

Based 2 hours from Micheal’s so we could crash in Vail (or in Denver if we wanted) or both. 🙂 Maybe get in some white water rafting?

Poppa John needs to get better first. 🙂


She’s to busy to send the word Love, but I know it is there.

Space Camp – Day Three

June 6, 2010

This was definitely my most exciting day at Space Camp but at a horrible price. We darn near brought our counselor Whitney to tears of frustration as our group violated all NASA standards for adherence to the rules of safety. But what pictures, video’s and memories.

A Family of Astronauts

The day started in a normal manner with a scripted mars mission where our family was divided into groups of Astronauts and Mission control staff.

Mission Control Staff

This was followed by a training secession for our Endeavor mission and the mission itself. Ana and Cait were the space walking astronauts and looked fantastic in their space suits. Of course this is exactly when my camera went dead. Dagny captured a video which I have to figure out how to post without spending $59 a year for a video upgrade from wordpress.

We then had a secession called the Magic of Science. The magic moment for me came when normally reticent Cayla volunteered to be on stage in front of an audience and participate in an experiment designed to trick her and get her wet (just like the other experiments did to others). Somewhere in there was a 3-D movie which I walked out on because being blind in one eye, it doesn’t look like the 3-D world I have adapted too and have so much fun in.

Cayla on Stage

The next exercise was called simply the 1/6 chair and it’s supposed to simulate the effect of the moons gravity which is 1/6 earth gravity. Whitney made the horrible mistake of saying that anyone who missed Friday’s multi-axis machine could go first which meant I got to go first and set the very low standard of maximum fun at any expense with minimum adherence to safety rules.

Getting Strapped in for Moon Walking

She knew that she was in trouble when I walked up to do the event with my neck brace on and she quizzically asked “are you sure?” Other than walking, this was to be my first real physical activity and I was positive I wanted to feel the effect of reduced gravity. The purpose of the activity was to learn to propel yourself across the surface of the moon, not to play superman and just jump as high as you could.


So of course after being strapped in, I launched myself into space while screaming “superman” at the top of my lungs.  I was followed by Super Girl


Super Bunny Rabbit

Super Bunny Rabbit

Super Mom

Super Mom

And Super Star

Super Star

Who was Super Happy

Super Happy

The Manned Maneuvering Unit was super uncomfortable as there was no place to put my arms. This was only used in space a couple of times before it was declared unsafe. It was also difficult for me to control as I might be impatient. Carson did it fairly well – either way this was not a major thrill as it moved too slow on earth.

Super Uncomfortable

At the end of the day, our Bunny Rabbit Astronaut was super tired and found a comfortable moon crater to lie down in.

Super Tired

Did I really get probed by Space Aliens in Florida?

May 22, 2010

Obviously, I can’t prove that my doctors were Space Aliens as I never had a chance to probe them, but I can make a very strong case that the Doctors were using Alien Technology. (Start the story at the beginning)

Now the premise of Independence Day was that the government had captured an Alien Space Craft and been working to discover it’s secrets since the 1947, Roswell, New Mexico Incident. A sub-plot was about an alcoholic pilot who claimed to be beamed up by aliens and probed in a manner which invoked such intense pain that he drank to forget the experience because no one believed him until the Alien mothership arrived to destroy earth.

1947 is a clear cut date which establishes a potential cut off for earth based technology and Alien Based Technology. We can expect that the earth based technology should be based on the premise of do no harm while healing and the Alien Technology just wants scientific answers without regard to human pain and suffering.

X Ray

The oldest test in the medical testing arsenal is the X-ray discovered by Wilhelm Rontgen in 1895 when he published a picture of his wife’s hand. He won a Nobel prize for his efforts in 1905. Now this test is somewhat dangerous but I am sure that is true of most of them. On the positive side it is painless and non intimidating. This is definitely a human test.


Willem Einthoven, working in Leiden, Netherlands, invented the EKG (electrocardiogram) in 1903 and in 1924, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work. This is a very non intrusive method where they glue some wires too you and take some readings. You really don’t know you are being tested. This is a very humane test obviously invented by humans.


John Wild (1914–2009) first used ultrasound to assess the thickness of bowel tissue as early as 1949 based on ultrasound research dating to 1930. For his early work he has been described as the “father of medical ultrasound”. In 1953 the Swedish Scientists were the first to view the heart. Properly performed ultrasound poses no known risks to the patient. This is a very humane test obviously invented by humans. In addition, it is doubtful the United States Army would share secrets with Sweden.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The original name for MRI was Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging and this was for a test which took long periods of time for a person to be shoved in a tube which was slightly smaller than their body and listened to a noise that was louder than a freight train roaring down the track. Obviously MRI is a vast improvement in the name even though the rest of the conditions remain the same.

In 1967 the first images of the inside of a body were taken. In the 1970 for the first brain MRI, the subject had to sit still for eight hours and the images took 72 hours to develop. In 1971, Raymond Damadian proved that magnetic resonance could be used to help detect diseases by the different nuclear magnetic relaxation times between tissues and tumors. In 1972, the second MRI image was taken. It was two dimensional which showed the length and width. The first MR image was published in 1973.

When evaluating the cruel and unusual conditions of this test and the fear factors invoked, it is hard to believe that a human invented it and MRI is more likely to be from an alien culture where people are much smaller in size and communicate by telepathy while ignoring sound. In addition to being post 1947 Technology, these are exactly the properties attributed to the Roswell Aliens.

Nerve Conduction Studies

To perform nerve conduction studies, surface electrodes are first fastened to the hand and wrist. Small electric shocks are then applied to the nerves in the fingers, wrist, and forearm to measure how fast a signal travels through the nerves that control movement and sensation. Hardyck and his researchers were the first (1966) practitioners to use the science behind this test. In the early 1980s, Cram and Steger introduced a clinical method for scanning a variety of muscles using an EMG sensing device.

This was definitely the most discomfort of any test I had other than the the Friday night MRI. I cant imagine a human believing that they can get valuable information by electrocuting a person and measuring the response. It’s easier for me to believe that this post 1947 technology came from an alien culture and reached the medical profession from Roswell Research.


From The University of Maryland Medical Center: In electromyography, “a fine, sterile, wire electrode is inserted briefly into a muscle, and the electrical activity is displayed on a viewing screen. Electromyography can be painful and is less accurate than nerve conduction. Some experts question, in fact, whether it adds any valuable diagnostic information.”

It is not until the middle of the 1980s that integration techniques in electrodes had sufficiently advanced to allow batch production of the required small and lightweight instrumentation and amplifiers.

Once again, this test is post 1947 Roswell, and I am sure that an Space Alien can ascertain more information from the test than the University of Maryland Author. This is definitely a crossover test, not only may it be invented by an alien technology, it may take an alien to meaningfully read it.


There is a clear-cut demarcation in medical tests developed before 1947 and those developed more recently. The earlier tests are based on humane treatment and the more recent ones all have cruel and unusual aspects. It is not much of a stretch for me to accept that the intergalactic Space Program of the Space Aliens ran out of money and the abandoned Aliens adapted to our life form and moved to Florida to practice really advanced space age medicine.

In the end I guess I don’t really care if they are Space Aliens or not just so I personally get the best care possible.

I Went to Florida to be Probed by Space Aliens – Day Three

May 22, 2010

So after Day One and Two of being probed by space aliens in Florida, how could Day Three be worse? Well the first two days were based on mental anguish without anything that was really painful especially if you don’t count my drinking a dozen glasses of water to flush the dye out of my system. Day Three included testing methods that depended on physical pain and being electrocuted. No Lie! (To start at the beginning of my Alien Encounter Go Here.)

The nerves in your body carry electrical impulses to the muscles to tell them to move. The speed that the impulse moves determines how quick your reflexes are and if the electrical impulse doesn’t move at all, then you are paralyzed. Nerve Conduction Studies are used to determine damaged nerves that do not transmit electricity.

Over my lifetime, I have been electrocuted several times starting at age 5 when I first started playing with electricity, again at age 12 when I built my first hod dog electrocuter, age 16 when playing with the ignition coil on my 40 ford coup (20,000 volts) and during my adult life whenever I got careless. Electrocution is not really painful, it is “shocking” and causes an involuntary response at every level. The image of the bucking body with a defibrillator or Frankenstein being brought back to life with an electric shock are very real at almost any level of electricity applied to the body.

Nerve conduction studies should be obviously simple a probe is attached to the upper arm and an electrical impulse is applied to the nerves in the wrist area and the speed of the impulse is measured. If the nerve is damaged and there is no response, they just up the power until you do respond. When the power is high enough, your body bucks all over the bed just like a Frankenstein monster and it is a complete body response with arms and legs on both sides twitching in an involuntary manner.

Now since some nerves are damaged and some not, you never really know when the technician is going to up the power. Also since nerves at the wrist are like branches of a tree compared to the upper arm, there are multiple places for them to probe before they get a complete picture.

After the random and aggravating electrocution process had gone on for some time, I asked the nurse if she got her training during the Inquisition and got no response.

The next test was only slightly less aggravating and administered by the neurologist, Dr. Luis Figueroa.

In Electromyography, a very thin flexible wire about three inches long is shoved through your skin and the doctor tells you to flex various muscles while he listens to static. The test is really not painful if you are comfortable with the concept of a thin flexible wire being shoved into your body at various locations on the arm.

I told him my comment about the torture and the Inquisition. His wry answer was that my question was rude because the Technician was far to young to be around for the Inquisition and it should be obvious that the quality of the training could only be had at Guantanamo. Well at least my doctor had a fine sense of humor which is good.

At the end of the day, Dr. Figueroa said that he found a small blemish on the brain that could be associated with a sub-acute stroke but he would like a heart specialist check me out to make sure I didn’t have any additional problem. Yes, the neck was bad but he would be happier if there were two months from the incident before I had the operation. The tests for the day were for carpal tunnel syndrome and yes I have that and may need it operated on someday.

Day four of testing was actually Probe Lite as nothing was intimidating or painful. I had an EKG and echocardiogram which is pretty much a sonogram and as most mothers know this is not a terribly evil test. Both tests came out fine.

Obviously the red wine had won the battle of clogged arteries and my only problem was my blood pressure was high. But go figure, my wife died six months ago and my grandchildren were still suffering, I went back to the gym, lost 40 pounds, was paralyzed, my mother died, traveled 1500 miles to the funeral two weeks after being paralyzed, I had a brain scan, been pumped full, of dye and electrocuted. I am amazed and thankful that the stress didn’t kill me.

My story would end right her but during cocktail hour yesterday, people were asking me about the neck brace and I said that it is hard to conceive of any test worse than my Nerve Conduction Studies. One woman popped up and said she could top me. First she had it done twice, once locally and again when she went for the operation. In addition, they had done her legs and she pointed to a spot, just below the end of her bating suit in the groin area where they attached the fixed electrode.

As a guy I cringed and accepted that the fact that her alien probe experience was far worse than mine.