Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Unexpected Ear Surgery Part II

This I had to share. I was walking with our 20 month old and a guy drives up to me and says “Have you seen a little dog running around, looks like a fox?”
“No. What’s it’s name?”
“I’ll keep an eye out. And you are the most uncreative person in the world.”

So I go in the next day for my ear surgery to remove some tissue with some atypical cells in it. I am very nervous, more about the anesthesia than anything else. After a brief wait in the lobby they called me back and my adventure began.

The first thing you always have to do is “get changed”. Is there anything in the new Obama healthcare package about replacing hospital gowns that cover nothing and are impossible to tie? It’s 2010 people. Let’s advance hospital gown technology, shall we? So while they are working on my ear and I still had to strip and put a gown on. Great.

They gave me a warm towel which was interesting and I sat and waited for the event. The doctor came in and talked to me and told me what he was going to do, again. Cut out the growth in a 2 mm margin down my ear canal. Got it. Then he told me I may need a skin graft but he’ll see how it goes. Wait, what?!

Then the anasthesologist came in and told me that it was safe and there was another Michael Jackson reference. OK, I got it. He used it at home without supervision. I’m assuming there is going to be a bit more supervision here at the hospital than at Neverland Ranch, right?
I have to admit, I was really nervous. I didn’t want to be put under and I have a fear of… all sorts of things. But the doctors did their best to reassure me and I did feel better.

Then it was showtime and I was shown to my warm bed surrounded by machines and tools. They plugged me into the happy juice and made me keep talking.
“Feel it yet?”
“Wow, you’re a tough one. Think about somewhere you want to go on vacation. Seriously.”

I talked about New Zealand and soon enough I was out. It occurred to me as I was going under that with two children, this is probably the only way I’m going to get any uninterrupted sleep. So maybe I should relax and enjoy it a little bit. But it’s a dreamless sleep. You get put under and you wake up as if no time has passed.

When I woke up I was so nauseous that I forgot to be joyful that I was indeed awake. So I got to throw up and get a nice shot in the leg for nausea. But hey, it worked. I felt better. Then my wife came back and while I was happy to be awake, I kinda wanted to go back to sleep. After effects of the drugs.

So I went home with my ear completely blocked up and was uncomfortable and disoriented for about another day. Then I was just uncomfortable, then just annoyed, which is what I am all the time anyway so I was almost back to normal.

I went back to the doctor a few days later to get all the bandages and the tube out of my ear. That’s when he said,” I have mostly good news for you” said the doctor. I didn’t like the sound of that. Well, I liked the sound of half of it. Turns out everything was benign which is awesome, but the bad news is that it looks like they didn’t get it all. I have to go back in and do it again. Next week. They are going to take more tissue out and it will be a longer recovery. Great. The worst part is that I was just thinking “wow, I won’t have to have anastesia again for a while.” Apparently a while was about two and a half weeks. Meh.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Unexpected Ear Surgery Part 1

The last thing you want to have to hear are the words “unexpected” and “surgery” in any sentence. I’ve been a bit sick lately, from my two children trying to kill me slowly with cold germs, but then things got a bit more dramatic. This has all of course affected my computer time and I realize I’m a bit more obsessed than normal. “The internet misses me!” Yes, indeed. It misses all of us.

So I go to the ear doctor once a year because I have a ridiculous problem of overproducing ear wax in my right ear which them blocks up to the point where I lose hearing in that ear. But this time I went in and the doctor found something extra. A “growth”. And no idea what it was. Wart? Mole? Cyst? Alien spore? He suggested we snip it off in the office and I setup another appointment to do so.

So I went back and they numbed the area, or so I thought and snipped it off. All this is taking place inside my ear canal through a microscope. Now I couldn’t feel it, but I sure could hear it. Not pleasant.

“We’re just going to cauterize it now.” Wait, what?! Great, now not only could I hear the sizzle, I smelled smoke as well. AND some of the numbness went away. “We call that a hotspot” said the doctor after he saw me wince. But now it was out of me and off to the lab.

I go back for a follow-up and that’s when it gets weird. “We needed to get a second opinion. It appears benign, but it’s a growth that shouldn’t be there. We’re recommending we get the rest of it out. I do surgeries on Fridays. I’ll have to put you under.”

Whaaat?! I need surgery?! AND I’m going to be put under?! I haven’t had anesthesia since I got my tonsils out as a child, or since I saw Avatar in 3-D. Honestly, I was more than a little nervous about it. I just remember counting backwards into a big black gas balloon and waking up with my throat sore. At least then I got ice cream. Not sure what the policy is now.

The doctor reassured me that it anesthesia was much safer now than it has ever been. I’ll be getting the same drug as Michael Jackson. And that’s supposed to make me feel BETTER?! The doctor then went on to explain that it’s a great drug when used under supervision at a hospital. Oh, you mean not at home recreationally? It then occurred to me a lot of people must be asking that question now. The poor drug company. Nothing like the most famous person in the world dying from your drug to give you a little bad PR. Then I thought, on the other hand, if Michael Jackson was using it, it must be pretty good.

So I scheduled the pre-op and the op. One is the day before so you can fill out paperwork and get really good and nervous before your surgery. They ask you lots of questions, and the nurse asked a few that I found interesting:

“Do use any medical devices or machines at home?”
“Recreationally or practically?”
“Do you have any problems with anxiety, depression, drugs, or alcohol?”
“…That’s a lot of things in one category. Shouldn’t we split them up?”
“OK, anxiety”
“Are you feeling nervous right now?”
“What do you think?”

So after a long grilling, blood tests, an EKG, etc. The nurse said “OK, you’re free to go”
“Until tomorrow, right?”

Next post: The surgery!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Promoting a Pal

As I'm sure a lot of you know my pal Stefanie Wilder-Taylor has been on most of the television shows on your television by now. But did you know she does PODCASTS too?! I know, can you believe it?! She stopped by to do out Comedy Film Nerds Podcast right before the Academy Awards and she talked about movies and how angry everyone was with her about ruining Up In The Air.

You can go to and listen to episode 8. But most importantly, why would you do anything if there wasn't something in it for you? Of course there is. How about a chance to win a FREE signed and personalized copy of her new book It's Not Me, It's You? It couldn't be easier. Go to and go to the message boards. Enter the contest thread and tell us who you think should play Stefanie in a movie and why. OK, it could be a little easier. Now, afraid of coming in third? No worries! Stef is giving away THREE books. THREE winners! Do it! It's free! It will help the economy. Don't argue.

Either way, it's a great book and you should buy it even if you don't win, signed and personalized from the store. But I hope you win. I really do. Cheers. is her home if you want to read more about her. Oh, and you will.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why I Love Japanese RPGs.

That’s Japanese Role Playing Video Games, for those of you not in the Geekknow. They are usually brilliantly imagines, immersive, surprising, but they can be long, slow, tedious and sometimes even boring. And yet, I love the negative stuff about them too. So why?

The first reason is that with two children my video game time has let’s just say, greatly diminished. I can play the Wii or Rock Band with Bella but that’s it. A little Resident Evil time has to wait.

Then I discovered the Persona games. Persona 3 took months and months to play. Even then you’ll miss part of it since there is so much to do and there is a ticking clock, and get this, the Persona games are currently PS2 games. Luckily I have a PS3 that’s backwards compatable, but I know, it feels like you’re playing an Atari 2600 sometimes. It’s soooo 2005…

So what makes it so great? Well, what’s so great about it is how… insane it is. Only Japanese game developers with a few issues about death, sexuality, and high school could come up with this. And I love it.

So the game opens up mysteriously. At midnight, everyone turns into… coffins? OK. Wait, OMFG. I’m a high school kid. I go to class. I go on dates. I can go to the mall. And at night if I so choose I go into a giant dark castle and fight monsters. Oh no, it gets better. I fight monsters by bringing my own moster out of my body. How do I do this? By shooting myself in the head over and over. Fricking twisted genius. Then you think, oh, it can’t get any weirder. But you’d be wrong. Soon a female robot shows up joins your team and then you can date her as well. Finally!

My wife watched me playing one night. She watched me walk around, talk to people and read the poorly translated Japanese dialogue. She then expectantly commented “This is boring.” To which I replied “Exactly!” That’s the point. Sometimes to relax I just go in the game, go to a few classes and then go to the mall to buy new armor and weapons. All malls in Japan seem to have armories, right? Right next to Cinnabon?

Sure, if I want to shoot myself in the head and woop some monster ass I can certainly do that if I wish. But not always.

But the point is, I'm tired. While I love video games, sometimes at the end of a seemingly endless day I may not be looking for the FPS viceral experience. Sometimes, I like to relax virtually as well.

So when I should be doing work late at night, or at least trying to catch up on my sleep sometimes I may not be home at all. I’ll be in Japan, going to school, studying for exams, fighting monsters and solving mysteries. Or I may just walk around and buy new pants that have a protection rating against fire magic. And why the hell not? I’m older now. My priorities have changed. I still want to fight monsters, I just like to wear some nicer things while I’m doing it.

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