Friday, February 21, 2014

Eskimo Words For Snow

     That's nothing, we have more than a 1,000 words for the colors of the rainbow.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Coping: What I Think I Learned Going to the Hospital

     I am not a doctor. This is definitely not medically approved advice.  I was lucky to be born with a super-high IQ, but that lets me notice things, it doesn't make me right.  When I was a teenager, one TV show that really had me thinking was Connections.  The host asked if you know what it would look like if the Sun was spinning around the Earth, like people used to think?  It would look +exactly+ the same.  So, I am just saying I could have exactly the wrong answer, even if it all looks right to me.

     At the hospital yesterday I got two liters of IV fluids, drank three ice and contrast filled cups (for a CAT scan to rule out an obstruction), had some Protonix (a PPI) put in my line, and was, like it or not, fasting.  I was on an NPO (no food) order.

     Like a lot of people suffering from gastro-paresis, I've learned a bunch of tricks in the last 10 months to help my digestion along: lots of little meals, avoid cold liquids, a Coke can dissolve foods, avoid anything I can't chew to mush.  I even stopped my very large PPI prescription (scleroderma GERD is unstoppable), to encourage stomach acids so I could break down food.

     I had gone to the hospital because I had been throwing up pretty much everything for almost 5 days.  My stomach felt "sour."  It seemed like anything I put in it became sour, too.  And it hurt most of the time, of course, so much I couldn't sleep at all.

     What did I do in the hospital?  Instead of eating, I was fasting.  Instead of warm liquids, I was drinking them ice-cold.  Instead of foods with as much nutrition as I could handle, I was having flavored water.  Instead of avoiding a PPI, I was getting one.

     In my 10 bad months I had learned all the ways to make my stomach GO, and so always used them, even when I should have been telling my stomach to STOP.

     So, the next time my stomach goes "sour," and I can't seem to hold down anything, I'm going to try the same formula: fast for a while, have a PPI, drink nearly-frozen, no calorie drinks... and maybe it will sort of clear my stomach, reset it.

     Fingers crossed!  And, if you try it, I hope it works for you, too!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Just in case

     Somewhere in the Spirit of Laws Montesquieu writes about a society where the single guys who had made the biggest contribution to society would get their pick of the ladies.  That's obviously impossible to organize and completely sexist, but I felt like I wanted to deserve the best, I wanted to make the single biggest contribution to humankind of my generation.

     I think, in retrospect, working on hunger would have been better.  I was too political, so I thought of tackling war.  As I've written before, first I thought, after watching the PBS Frontline episode "The Jesus Factor," that it really was a religious thing to our leaders, as it certainly was to al-Qaeda.  Then, however, investigating terrorism, Google gave me other ideas.  I'd search for Basque, and I'd get the people and the language.  I'd google Chechen, Uyghur and Tamil and get the same thing.  I learned the Pashtun, Kurds, Somali and Ruanda-rundi speakers were all carved up by the Europeans.  I learned the Caucasus mountain range was filled with small, isolated branches of a smallish, isolated language family.

     So, my contribution is found at