April 29, 2008

broke back dave

Posted by gornzilla

My back has hurt since the seizure so I mention that to my neurologist. I say I've been taking 800mg of Advil but it's still hard for me to sleep. There's nothing he can do since I'm trapped in the Kaiser Hospital system. No "take these pain pills or muscle relaxants". No, "let me send you straight to another doctor". It's, "Sorry, but you have to make an appointment with your assigned doctor". An assigned doctor I haven't seen before. Kaiser's red tape is as bad as the government and it's 2pm on Friday afternoon. And it's all with a $30 co-pay.

In order to make an appointment with Kaiser, I have to go through a complicated phone system. A "push 1" or "push 2" or "push 3" and "our options have recently changed" and I have to go through 7 different options to talk to someone to make an appointment. It's like this every time I call and since the seizure, I have to call a lot. When it goes fast I can talk to someone in 6 minutes. When it's slow it's 17-20 minutes.

After 18 minutes, I get through to a person, but my doctor can't see me. Kaiser says for me to call up at 6am on Saturday to make an appointment. There's a party at my house on Friday so I'm up until 2:30am. It's hard to sleep with a sore back so it's not hard to get up at 6am to call. They say they can't do anything for at least a week. I bitch and say my back has hurt for 10 days so they make an exception and point me towards another doctor.

This doc sends me down for x-rays and when he looks at them he says, "I think your back is broken. A stress fracture of your vertebra. I'm not sure so I need to have a radiologist look at these. We'll let you know. Take some Advil". I let him know the Advil hasn't been working so he says, "try Tylenol".

I look like someone who seeks drugs. I had that explained to me by a doctor years ago and by my wife* who's a nurse. Even without a sarcastic mustache. It's kind of funny because I don't even take aspirin when I have a headache. When I've had surgery, I stop taking Vicodin after a day or two. I don't smoke pot and in the last 10 years, I hardly have more than two beers. But it is only "kind of funny" because when I'm in pain, I don't get anything. I'll just have to start buying Vicodin off the street for times like this.

I wait all day Saturday and they don't call. I know they won't call on Sunday, so my lawyer** takes over and buys me hot packs, cold packs, Tylenol, aspirin, and Advil. She quizzes the pharmacist for advice but she chose well. Back at her house, I have a glass of wine with aspirin, Tylenol and Keppra (my anti-seizure drug). She puts Salonpas hot pack/pain relief bandages on my back so not only do I hobble like an old man, I smell like one too.

Everything put together helped. I still don't sleep well but it's better. Monday at 7:45am I call them back. They take a message and call back at 10am to say, "We'll let you know in the next 24 hours".

Thanks a lot, Kaiser you fucks. I'm starting to wonder if I'll have to cancel on the Bananas tour which would suck. The seizure already screwed my plans for India and if my back is broken, I have no idea when I can start traveling. Riding for months on an old motorcycle with a broken back somehow seems like a bad idea. I'll still go to India but sans motorcycle. I've already quit my job to do this. In California, having a seizure means a 6 month suspended license. That won't count in India but I won't ride until I'm used to the medication and feel it's safe for me. Having a broken back and no license will rank me quite high for whatever minimum wage job I can hobble to while I wait to heal enough to go to India. Maybe I can get a job in a liquor store so I can learn Hindi from my co-workers.

Kaiser calls back at 4:30pm which is a pleasant surprise because it is the same day. It's obvious, I lost all faith in them. I wish I was back at Sutter Hospital. They were always nice and it's within easy walking distance which is helpful. The radiologist said it isn't broken and they'll send me a report. Man, that's a relief. Still Tylenol and Advil don't help much but knowing my back isn't broken is great. It would've been a funny way of breaking my back with some seizure inducing sex, but life somehow seems better without a broken back.

So Wednesday I go on tour with the Bananas. I'll try to post random updates here to get back in the habit for India. I'll get back and stick the engine into my NSU and put the NSU and my Norton up on eBay. I'll show up in India end of July so in time for monsoon season. Showing up so late means I'll miss out on going to China for the Olympics.

I know it seems like all I do is bitch and moan but that's just the nature of blogs. I actually think a lot of this has been funny, even if not exactly enjoyable. Complaining about postponing a long trip to India is like a millionaire complaining about getting old hundred dollar bills.

*My wife is a nurse friend of mine who married me so I'd have health care. It worked out that Kaiser was the most convenient. She's got a real fiance but they said for me to finish my lap round the world before they get hitched.

**My friend Heidi is a lawyer. I like to call her "my lawyer" or "Heidi Birdman Attorney at Law". She's good people which seems weird for a lawyer.

My friend Craig went to India a couple weeks ago (as he says, India then Outdia). He sent me this brief video of his brief trip. I was planning on seeing his band "Conquest for Death" last year in North Africa but I had to postpone my Round Two. I hope to run into them in Iran later this year. Craig wrote a really neat book about visiting Antarctica. It's a 2-sided book with the other section by Dean Carrico about his semester abroad in the UK. I hadn't read any of Dean's stuff before but I was really surprised how good it is. My favorite part of that side is Dean stalking a girl and not quite figuring out that he's stalking her. Well worth the 10 bucks!

He's been most everywhere with his band "All You Can Eat" and "Your Mother" and when he went to the Air Guitar Championship in Finland as Hot Lixx Hulahan -- the 2006 US National Air Guitar Champion.

Posted by gornzilla at 10:56 AM | Comments (4)

April 17, 2008


Posted by gornzilla

Ah, the joy of having a seizure! I really hope no one who reads this will ever have a seizure. They're a pain in the ass. But as Old Man Foster said, better here than India where monkeys would bite off my balls.

Tuesday the 15th, and I've been busy getting ready for my trip. I have a couple carbs to rebuild for my Norton Commando so I can eBay that, and I had found a running NSU Prinz engine on eBay. It was in a 1959 Prinz that got totaled.

I was really excited that I found a running NSU engine. They're not that common. It's in Kentucky and I was thinking about driving out there to pick it up. 2,200 miles each way, but I'm in a hurry. I'm going on tour with the Bananas on April 30th and I leave for India May 21st. Just a couple days after we're back from tour. So it was worth it to me to drive out to pick it up. That way I could get my NSU on eBay.

It was my friend Sam's birthday. She came down for a few beers and spent the night. I woke up on the floor, which isn't that unusual of a place for me to sleep when I've been drinking. I thought "that was weird, I only had 3 or 4 beers but I guess I only had 2 packs of ramen yesterday" and got back into bed.

I was lying there and asked Sam what happened -- apparently it was mind blowing birthday sex! If it wasn't mind blowing for her, it was for me.

She wrote:

I won't forget it anytime soon. I hope it helps. I've tried to get a time frame for you.

We had finished having sex. You were on top of me lounging, it felt as if you fell asleep. The time was around 10:40am i glanced at the clock. You had your arms wrapped around me tight they tightened up as if you were grabbing me and pulled me off the bed on top of you. I thought you were kidding around until I looked down and saw your facial convulsions. I quickly jumped up to push away all the surrounding stuff and think of what to do next. Your entire body and head were convulsing rapidly. I remembered you saying to just make someone comfortable. So I pulled the blankets around you and on you. By the time I had made you "comfortable" your body had stopped seizing (about 2-3minutes had gone by). But your facial expression was still seized up and you were making gurgling sounds with your head turned sideways in a box. That lasted about another 2 minutes. Then you went into deep sleep snoring loudly.
I texted my mother at 10:44 am asking for advice as I sat and watched you sleep. You slept for 15 minutes then you awoke for a second your eyes were glazed over you mumbled at me then you went back to sleep. You slept until you awoke confused almost an hour later. I watched you the entire time. You didn't have anymore symptoms of convulsions while you were asleep. I did have to tell you a couple of times that you had a seizure. When you got up into bed I knew you were able to comprehend what I was telling you.

End of Sam's story.

Sadly, I wrenched my back and bit my tongue really hard. I'm sore all over and my tongue is swollen and sore. It's hard to eat, which I guess is good since I have a fat belly.

I called up to schedule an appointment with a neurologist and the hospital told me to go to the emergency room. I showed up and asked if I could eat and take some advil and was told to wait for the doctor. They said I'd see one very soon. I didn't see a doctor for 5 hours.

Rah, bah, bah. Just the usual, "Hey you had a seizure" response. They put me back on Keppra which is the anti-seizure drug that I carted around Australia and New Zealand. I had weened off it about 18 months ago. My old neurologist said I could ween off it. Anti-seizure pills are taken in increments. You start off small and work your way up, and when you stop, you work your way down. It'll take a couple weeks to get back to my dose, and there's more tests. I'm going to have to postpone my trip to India for a month or two until I get this figured out.

I've got an EEG on the 29th but I'm hoping someone will cancel so I can get in sooner. I won't be able to drive or ride a motorcycle legally for about the next four months. That'll make it hard for me to get a job while I wait for India. The mass transit in Sacramento is horrible which'll make it hard to substitute teach.

I'll have to get a crappy job and shave off my sarcastic Salvador Dali mustache. Or maybe I can get a job at a thrift store where a mustache wouldn't be a bad thing.


Oh yeah, so I leave on April 30th to drive cross country with the band The Bananas. Here's the schedule. Please feel free to let me know if you'll be at any of the shows. My number for the next few months will be 916-307-3607.

May 2 Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 3 Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 4 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 5 Chicago, Illinois
May 6 Cleveland, Ohio
May 7 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
May 8 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 9 NY, New York
May 10 NY, New York
May 11 Washington DC
May 12 Richmond, Virginia
May 13 Asheville, North Carolina
May 14 Chattanooga, Tennessee

Sarcastic mustache meets nonsarcastic eeg

Posted by gornzilla at 07:10 PM | Comments (2)