Archive for the 'shit happens' Category

Look Ma - No Stitches

incisionWhen I was admitted to the ER last November with a throat abscess, the radiologist discovered a mass on the right lobe of my thyroid gland. After consulting with our Family Doctor we were referred to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist who said the mass and the right thyroid lobe has to come out.

Last Friday, we went to the hospital and had the procedure. The operation was a “Thyroid Lobectomy” which involved removal of the right half of my thyroid which was the section with the mass.

This operation involves removing the half of the thyroid gland that has the nodule. It is sometimes called a “diagnostic lobectomy” because the preoperative diagnosis may be uncertain and part of the reason for the operation is to make a diagnosis of cancer or no cancer. [more]

After the procedure while I was still under anesthesia, the pathologist froze the nodule and did a quick slice analysis biopsy under a microscope and determined there was no cancer. Had the biopsy been positive, then the other half of the thyroid would have to come out. Thank the Lord the mass was benign.

Today (and all weekend, actually) I am doing fine. There is a little discomfort, more pressure than pain, a little swelling and bruising. I am using an ice pack a few times a day to try and reduce swelling.

In the (clickable) image above is the base of my neck where the incision was made. When they closed it up, they used neither sutures nor staples - they “glued” me back together! I had been expecting to have a railroad-track scar across my neck, but they tell me this won’t be very noticeable.

I have a follow-up with the ENT on Wednesday where we discuss what happens next with possible supplemental thyroid medication and whatever else. I’m just glad the main event is over and things went well.

AZCDL: No Blood in the Streets

acdllogo.jpgDave Kopp, President of the Arizona Citizens Defense League issued an email to AZCDL members today regarding the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida. He correctly points out that both states affected by these natural tragedies are generally well-heeled with regard to citizen firearm ownership. In spite of that, the post-ravaged areas have few violent incidents reported.

No Blood in the Streets

I’d like to take a moment to thank you for your kind donations to the relief efforts for hurricanes Irma and Harvey. There is still much to be done to help our fellow Americans rebuild their lives, but it serves as a vivid reminder of what can be done if we group together for a common cause.

Historically, Florida and Texas are some of the most-heavily armed states in the country—and yet, there were relatively few cases of firearms related violence during these tragedies. As you and I would expect, responsible firearms owners did not use the chaos of these storms to perpetuate violence. Instead, they—and many others—joined together to help their neighbors in a time of need.

AZCDL works to promote safe gun ownership, and to create laws that enable us to protect our rights. Please, click here to help us continue that mission, and help us to dispel the notion that firearms owners are irresponsible and dangerous.

Thank you,
Dave Kopp
President, Arizona Citizens Defense League

We continue to support AZCDL and are a regular reader of their literature on their site and on social media.

Hurricane Preparedness

TofuThere are currently three hurricanes active in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. All are posing risks to Caribbean islands and to Mainland US destinations. The most significant storm is Irma, currently wreaking havoc on Puerto Rico and likely to devastate its way through the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and thence up the east coast of Florida. At 941 millibars central pressure and winds of 160 mph, it is possibly the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic. We will be praying for those in the path of the storm to be well and safe.

All seriousness aside, I have included a (clickable) whimsical photo (I forget where I stole it) of the vegan section in the deli department of some store in Houston where folks there stocked up on everything but the tofu crap. Who could blame them?

Oh, and stand by for the calls by “climateers” to blame this on man made greenhouse gasses instead of the natural forces on the planet as intended by its creator.

Monsoon Season is Upon Us

Monsoon Radar

Last night, tonight and for the next few afternoons and evenings, the radar image above is typical of the precipitation activity over our state. We experienced our first downpour late yesterday, with the results being a lot of flooding and debris in the usual places. There were reports of downed trees in town and emergency crews restoring electric power and other interrupted services.

We were fine here, albeit a bit shaken when lightning struck just up the hill behind our house. It seemed to rattle the dogs a bit too, but no harm to anything we could detect. None of our utilities were interrupted (other than satellite TV due to the precipitation) and we stayed cool (104° and 77% humid outside).

Our retention walls behind the RV drive did the trick yesterday, with the heavy runoff diverted to the west side of the property and down the creek that The Better Half and I devised in early 2016. We should continue to be OK in the weeks to come.


Short Circuit AftermathThe Better Half had a little mishap yesterday when she went to the electrical outlet in the hallway to plug in her camera battery recharging unit. Upon her attempt to plug the little unit in, she was greeted by a shower of sparks, a whiff of ozone and a tripped circuit breaker. I was in the courtyard when I heard her yell for me. I came running to see what happened.

(Clickable) image: Outlet under repair. Note the black mark inside box.

Not knowing what the problem was, I went to the circuit breaker box and attempted to reset the tripped breaker with no load on the outlet. No dice, it wouldn’t reset.

The only recourse was to open the outlet in question with the breaker still off. Once open, I immediately saw the problem - the bare earth ground wire had been looped around the outlet such that it was in close proximity to the screws on the hot side. The wire had actually fused to one of the hot screws and burned it in half, apparently when TBH jostled the outlet plugging her charger in resulting in a dead short hot to ground.

I cut the ground wire away from the hot terminal and prepared the end to be reconnected to the ground terminal away from the hot side. After reassembly, the circuit breaker set correctly and the outlet (and the rest of the several shared outlets) functioned correctly once again.

TBH and I recall having interfaced with the electrical guy that worked on the house as it was being built. We both thought he was a flake at the time. It makes us wonder how many other little time bombs might be lurking in the other wiring around the house.

Good Trip Save For A Minor Annoyance


This evening, The Better Half and I are safely back in our lovely little home. The trip to K-Stan was uneventful and traffic was lighter than the last several times we have gone. We did have one minor annoyance when our usual off ramp was closed and we had to detour to the next ramp which is about twelve more miles along I-10 in a one-lane restriction construction area. The net result of the detour cost us an additional five miles and delayed progress due to the construction.

The really annoying thing is that there was nothing wrong with Exit 31 to US 60. ADOT had a contraption set up just before the off ramp closure, but the ramp itself was completely functional. Plus there would have been zero construction delays on our original intended route. The G-maps above show the detour and intended route with construction delays highlighted.

Ah, well, we’re both happy to be home and happy that the rest of the excursion was uneventful and traffic was light. Next month, we’re using a different route that includes Northern K-Stan, Utah, Nevada and Southern K-Stan. It should be fun.

Post Surgery Report

Yesterday, The Better Half and I drove to the ENT Doctor that performed the surgery to have the sutures removed and to get the lab report on the tumor that was removed. The suture removal was a snap since there were only six. It took him under two minutes to get them out. The residual scar is at the left behind the clickable title. There are still some swollen spots which gives it a raised appearance which should diminish and smooth out the skin in time.

As for the biopsy report, the main finding was short and sweet: “periparotid hyalized nodule and intravascular organizing thrombi - negative malignancy.” Quite a mouthful to try and say that, but I love that last part - no carcinoma. There were a bunch of other notations by the lab but after the good part, none of that mattered much.

There are a couple of after effects which are forecast to disappear after some recovery time of unknown duration; one is a numbness in my left cheek and the other related neurological effect is range of motion in my facial muscles on the left side. My crooked smile is even more crooked. But everything works well enough for speech, eating and such.

Between the folks on Fecesbook© and here, the thoughts, wishes and prayers have done the job again.

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