Friday, March 28, 2014

My Last Strokey Update

Yesterday I had an appointment with my neurologist, which consisted of him taking 45 seconds to perform a perfunctory neurological examination and a 10 minute chat, which, yes, did have something to do with my health but mostly concerned itself with our respective plans for Passover. After the conversational Afikomen was recovered and paid for*, he suggested tactfully that I no longer needed his services. So it's official: I am no longer under the care of a neurologist. Woo hoo! So I thought I'd just wrap up the whole stroke thing with a final update about my cerebrovascular health and put it lock stock and barrel where it belongs, in the rear-view mirror.

The main reason why I had the stroke - runaway hypertension - is well-controlled. My diabetes is similarly well-managed. The pain in my left hip has lessened as my weight goes down and the weather turns warmer.

The impact the stroke has had on my life physically is minimal. I have the odd moment where I lose my balance; I would not wish to try my luck on the balance beam or a rope ladder. I have some very small fine-muscle control issues in my left hand. My penmanship has changed; it's not messier than it was before (I doubt that's even possible) but it is different. I can still play the guitar but my repertoire is restricted to campfire singalongs and other fare that doesn't require fingerpicking, soloing, or, you know, talent.

But that's it. In so many ways it's like the stroke never happened. I can honestly say my recovery has been 99% comprehensive. And I'm pleased with that, bet your ass I am.

Anyway, there you go. Thanks for listening. Go see a doctor if you haven't recently.
*If you're a Jew, that's pretty funny, right there.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Good Memory

Editor's Note: I posted this as my status on the Eff Bee, and people seemed to like it, so I thought I'd bring it over here.

Because, if you know anything about me, you know that I can't just post a picture without telling a story:

In 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series, I got it in my head that I needed to be at the park on Opening Day 2005 to see them get their rings and raise the banner. This was a problem as ticket prices, never exactly low, were ridiculously, stupidly high. The finance committee would never approve an outlay of that kind, so I was left to find an alternate plan.

"I know," I thought to myself. "I'll just win this upcoming poker tournament, and the money will flow through my hands like water, and with it I shall purchase two of the hottest tickets in town."

Well, they say the good Lord protects children and fools, and I guess that happened here because that's exactly how it went down. And for $1200, I was given the privilege of purchasing two of, arguably, the worst seats in the house - box 92, row UU, seats 11 and 12. If you know Fenway Park, you know that these seats, rather than facing home plate like baseball seats are suposed to, instead face the center field wall, making you keep your head turned left for three solid hours. But I didn't care; I was in.

Naturally I was beset with friends - real and otherwise - looking for an invitation to be my companion for the day. But I knew pretty much right away whom I was going to invite. The man who gave me my love of baseball in the first place: my father.

As April 11ths go around these parts, it was sunny and warmer than usual. For a miracle we found a place to park and made it in time to watch the ring ceremony and the raising of the World Series banner. That was the day that the Fenway crowd gave Mariano Rivera that sarcastic cheer as a thanks for blowing two saves in the ALCS. As an extra added bonus the Red Sox stomped the Yankees 8-1 that day. It was as close to a perfect day as it gets. It remains one of my life's sweetest memories. Similarly this picture, taken by some corporate yahoo who kept checking his phone and leaving for two innings at a time to buy souvenirs, is one of my most prized possessions.

Thanks for coming with me, Dad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Two Things That Happened Twenty Years Ago Today

  1. Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.
  2. I got married.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Some news

I wish I could bring you a story of triumph against overwhelming odds, but Josie's godson and nephew Joseph lost his battle on February 27th. Joe was 26.

I was asked to keep this message short but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Joe's last thoughts, at the very end, were of others and not himself. His final words to his loved ones were "At the end of this quest, don't lose your righteousness."

Rest in peace, Joseph.