Monday, October 31, 2011

On birthday, we’re thankful for its years of myth-busting~ Mark Moseley
~"Why is this so difficult for some people to grasp? The system that failed on August 29, 2005 – the Hurricane Protection System – failed because the engineering and design system behind it had been in failure from the beginning of the project in the 1960′s. It was only a matter of time for this to happen, but it was going to happen no matter what. The crime is that people within the Corps knew this and did not let the citizens know in any meaningful, sustained, easily understood, and very loud way." ~Matt McBride, Fix the Pumps
~Folks gather at the first rally in January of 2006, with founder Sandy Rosenthal wielding the bullhorn. (Some goof in a red shirt is also in the crowd.)
~Also~Sandy Rosenthal is guest speaker for U.S. Dept of State program! The group is interested in meeting with Ms. Rosenthal to discuss the role of grassroots citizen activism in holding the government accountable for the events that occurred during Katrina.

'Sliver by the river' neighborhoods that escaped flooding after Federal Flood have lost population

First 'Pump to the River' project set to begin

Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices

Editilla has a stroke...
~Well, two actually...That I can type is part of the story here.... I walked out of the Memphis Methodist Hospitals Stroke Unit about 7pm Friday night, after 3 days, feeling like a very lucky man --not many patients walk out of that place. I've told you all before how lucky my life has been. Well, here it is again. I'm so lucky to be alive and kicking!

My friend The Raven, by my friend Polly Jackson.
Oh yes, The Raven was there... my barrister to The Reaper.

My room mate and old friend Brenda pretty much saved my life by being here to catch me as I fell over Tuesday morning, drooling, speechless and completely paralyzed on my right side. Were I alone, I probably would've let it slide after those 2 minor strokes had passed, as a series of nearly a dozen mini-strokes rolled through my brain --until an even bigger stroke took me later that day, forever. It was that close a call according to the 3 neurologists working my case. Brenda also stayed by my side the 9hrs in the Emergency Room before they took me upstairs to the Stroke Ward. I'm crying again...

Both strokes happened in a nickle shaped area of my brain just left of center, about an eighth of an in inch inward... hence my entire right side was completely paralyzed. I wondered if it was very near where my father's was. His of course was walnut sized and apparently one of many. Mine started with the mini-strokes Monday night, then Tuesday morning first thing cranked up to full blown strokes --though mild ones by comparison. I let it role Tuesday, as I just didn't get that this was actually happening to me, and took aspirin. Tuesday night was rough... Wednesday morning boss'friend Chuck took me to the ER at Methodist and they rolled me right in. I had several more mini strokes in the ER waiting to be moved upstairs to the Stroke Unit (they had to make a room) and then I was being taken care of by a lot of people.

I will be on the blood thinner Plavix for the rest of my life ($200/30 pill bottle)(WHOA!) Also Chlorthalidone blood pressure medication (mine is high but not so much) and Simvastatin anti-cholesterol medication (both cheap)(and this can be dealt with by diet, exercise and such as time goes on) and even 325 mg Aspirin.

Of course I am quitting cigarettes. It will take some doing but I must.
It turns out that I can still drink some alcohol in moderation (No more six-pack or two per day as I have for the past 5 months.) But the chief neurologist, Dr Lopez, wasn't concerned with the beer at all, and even suggested a glass or two of red wine per day. No, Dr Lopez was vehement about my quitting smoking. Hell, I've smoked 2-2 1/2 packs per day for the past 15 years at least: chain smoker. But, already I feel the change in attitude from cutting back so much. Dr Lopez says it isn't the Nicotine, but all the other crap in cigarettes that damages the arteries and destroys the cell wall lining them, hardening them. So I've got Electronic Cigarettes to give me Nicotine without the smoke. Dr Lopez even suggested Patches to quit. But he stressed that if I don't quit, even with the Plavix, I have a 50% chance of getting hit with a big one sooner than later. They called this "managing certain risk". I find that term interesting as "risk" denotes a gamble, whereas I face the certainty that another, more debilitating stroke could take me again, perhaps for keeps --esp if I don't quit smoking or don't take the Plavix according to Dr Lopez, (The Boss neurologist). (on that note, Plavix may be going generic soon so there is that.)

But, OH, I'm going to quite smoking because my room mate Brenda will quit with me! It's going to happen. I've had about 1/2 pack today which is astounding, supplemented with Electronic Delivery Devices (EDD :). You know, I started smoking at 14. Fuck nostalgia. Rather, I'm beginning to look forward to not having them as a part of my life. This could get very interesting indeed...and profitable!

I always thought cancer would be the one to get me 1st, but Stroke is the Thief In The Night. Should I have cancer from literally tons of cigarettes, I think I'll be able to deal with it and perchance prevail. Whereas, with Stroke I was absolutely powerless... I mean, once it came for me there was no countering it, before I realized what's happening it had me and whether or not it lets me go was totally up to the Stroke. Providentially speaking... I was let go!
Furthermore, this change in everything from bad habits to better diet and living in general will give me a leg up on my defenses against cancer should it rear its ugly heads.

The speech therapist that checked me out was pretty surprised after viewing my MRIs that I could even carry on a conversation with her. The physical therapist said that, sense I could, I needed to walk around the ward every once in a while to stretch my legs and work my brain pathways... and she laughed that I was the only person on that floor who COULD get up and walk around. It was a circular affair, this hospital tower, most of the patient's doors were open so they could be closely observed by the nurses, and all of them, every single one was totally stroked out paralyzed, gone just like my father was... I was about the youngest on the floor... and, I thought I saw my father in one of those beds... really... I mean, I had to look 3 times... In fact, I was in the very same type of bed my father was on his stroke ward, the exact same hospital bed that automatically adjusts to your weight, plugged into all sorts of critical monitors. My Pop, his sisters Muriel and Celista Bell and his father RL Senior all had massive debilitating strokes. Like...DUH BRUCE?

Please let this be a lesson to you all.

That said... I can still play guitar! Though I can still feel the pathways of motor function damage in my right hand and arm, the effects are slight. My basic Chops are still intact. That is to say, everything seems to work, and with, as you might imagine, a resurgence of certain creative dexterity and a tad bit of FUCK YEAH I'M ALIVE. What a profound relief! The days of me not playing guitar are over as well. I am crying again...
...tears that have happened before---but there is nothing to compare them to now.

No more self-destructive grief or anger or online ass-holery.
No more wasted living...
Everything's going to be OK!

I'm gonna sit
like an un-carved block of wood
waiting for the Goddess to make me
...maybe a statue
...perchance a cup
to hold the peoples' memories
or the Body of Chaos.

Goddess takes care of fools and errant troubadours.
Tru'dat, Whodats! We Got This!

I love you all so much,
Editilla the Pun


Anonymous said...

Brenda is your angel. how lucky and blessed you are.

you've been given this second chance.. thank God.

we'll all be here cheering you on every step of the way.


Editilla said...

Thanks Yous, Mz Termite!

I've had a couple of big epochal type behavioral changes in my life... reading Siddhartha and getting Rolfed spun the wheel a full 24 if you know what I mean. But this stroke bidness was unlike anything before it. Literally a Thief in the Night. And more than that, walking away from it is a piece of Grace that I find hard to describe --let alone ignore! But OH, what fun it will be to try ya'know?

I had gone through such Deep Depression and Angst in gutting Editilla's House of Piety, really, and, as you know, had run off ALL my new online Nola friends with terrible hick-dickery... I was rudderless in a storm of self-loathing if you want the truth.
Weeeelll, now I no longer have the energy or the inclination to be an Asshole.

I so appreciate you sticking with me. You are SPEEEESHALL!

Robert Morris said...

"The speech therapist that checked me out was pretty surprised after viewing my MRIs that I could even carry on a conversation with her."

Clearly, that speech therapist was not yet acquainted with the Editilla I know. Sorry to hear you were stricken with such an ordeal, friend, but wholly grateful to know you've made it through. All the same, despite your gracious concessions to the stroke's power, I am not the least bit surprised that three strikes was insufficient to put you out.

I quit smoking a few years ago. I know better than to compare my habit like a veteran tobacco enthusiast such as your self, but I'd spent a decade working on enough of a habit to make me look like a real cub reporter, and furthermore genuinely enjoyed my Camels. But I quit in one blow when my kids were born, and I found that all it took was wanting to be done with it. I vividly remember choosing a cigarette to be my last, just before going to confront a room full of righteously indignant Cajun firefighters. Withdrawal was a bitch, but each day I saw it like this: "If I have a cigarette now, then the previous day's work (two days', three days') is all wasted." And the farther I made it through, the less I wanted to screw it all up. I also laid off the booze during that time, lest my lowered inhibitions result in a loss of determination for the project. Anyway, my experience was that the most important factor in quitting is the drive to be quit, and it sounds from your testimony here that you have that in spades. Who'd have thought the House of Piety would be smoke free?

But "No more online ass-holery"? I hope that's just the afterglow of the miracle speaking. We're fortunate to have a conscience with such a strident voice. It's a shock to know we almost lost it, and a great relief to know you'll be headed back down the City of New Orleans line after all.

See you soon, Bruce.

Editilla said...

Thank you Robert!
Oh yeah, I've actually ENJOYED smoking all these years, and have Never seriously tried to quit. (just wouldn't play that game) Buuuut, I also never had Electronic Cigarettes. They were an absolute godsend on the Amtrak!

Aaaand, the Neurologist said I could drink beer! (moderately :) (though I gotta watch it with the Plavix blood thinner)
Sooo, we'll have to pop a few tops as we fang down on some berled crawfish (low salt :)and plot Louisiana's path to secession!

Ima Wizer said...

And we love you and we SO APPRECIATE you!
Who would be as compassionate as you??? We need you here, you be de bes'!
Ima Hapyuralive

Sop811 said...

Good to see you're still with us Bro. Mucho luck kicking the habit!

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Thanks SOP! It's a bitch, but I have Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices ENDDs hehehe... we'll do this.

Mizza Wiza, you Know how much I love and appreciate Yous Toos!