Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sleeping, lack thereof

Gah. It's not that I can't sleep, it's just that these days I don't seem to want to. Partly it's just stress. Partly it's frustration with my legs. In large part it's fear.

It's coming up on the 1-year anniversary of my coming out of the induced coma. Though I wouldn't call it a coma, really. I was too aware of things. And I'm finding more and more nights involve flashbacks to that. Why would that make me afraid? Google the product "Dignicare". Warning: NSFW. In fact, probably not safe for your personal comfort in general. And that's not the worst of it. What, you thought just because you were in a coma that your body stopped processing and producing waste products? It doesn't, and hospitals have to have a way of dealing with that in patients with no voluntary motor control. And I remember all that going in and coming out. I... really would rather not, thank you very much, and especially not in extra-vivid Technicolor. Also replays of things like my hallucinations of being parked in an out-of-the-way area by a doctor who had no intentions of asking my consent for anything he wanted to do, nor any compunctions about lying to everyone to keep me isolated. It didn't happen, but that doesn't make the memory less disturbing. And memories of them taking the ventilator out of me, only to have to replace it because I was dying without it. That got mixed up with memories of some of my role-playing characters over the years, all rolled up into a scenario of me being turned into them to save my life. Another one involved my doing a motorcycle tour of the US as a busker at RenFaires, accompanying a couple patently lifted from some locals. That one gradually transformed into a high-tech VR-heavy world where I ended up as a sportscaster (mainly because I could keep track of lots of information streams at once and spot the anomalies, and ESPN was paying well). And then there was the Institute for Advanced Science and Research, which was a thinly-veiled copy of the UCSD hospital right down to people repeatedly asking me if I knew where I was and what date it was. Another part involved research into marine ecology and it's effects on the global economy. Don't ask me where that one came from, I'm not sure I want to know. Scratch that, I'm pretty sure I do not want to know.

If you've managed to stay with me this far, you can understand why having all this shoving it's way through my head on a regular basis, when I know it's all bogus but can't stop it, makes sleep a less than attractive prospect. But I need it anyway, I don't stay sane without it. I'll be happier when it's spring and the sun starts chasing the depression and mental instability away again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reasons to mistrust Republicans

Mark Hurlbert is a classic example of why I distrust Republicans, beyond the Religious-Right/Teaparty aspects. He's the District Attorney for the 5th Judicial District in Colorado. He's run for US Senate in his district as a Republican. To quote from his biography on the DA's Web site:

"As an experienced prosecutor, Mark knows it is important not to simply secure convictions, but to seek justice. He makes victims a priority and is dedicated to providing victims a strong voice in the justice system."

To quote from the About Mark section of his Web site (which starts to give hints as to his real positions:):

"It is through his time as the District Attorney that he solidified his belief in a small, efficient government and working with various interests to reach effective solutions."

He's quite happy to charge bicycle racers with fraud when one who was injured lets another one user her registration materials to get into a race.

But what happens when someone rear-ends a bicyclist, leaving them with major and permanent injuries including to the brain and spinal column? Well, apparently they get off with misdemeanor charges instead of felony. The reason? To quote Mr. Hurlbert, "Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it.".

Hence why I distrust Republicans. When push comes to shove, they're quite willing to put business and money above almost everything else.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Prediction about the 2012 elections

I predict that Republican control of the House will, in 2012, produce the same result as it did the last time the Republicans took control of the House under a Democratic President: remind people why they voted the Republicans out.

Fiscal sanity? Yeah, right, remember exactly which party not only initiated handing out billions of dollars to banks to bail them out of their own bad stupid utterly insane lending decisions, but also vehemently opposed attaching any sort of restrictions to those bail-outs on the grounds that those banks, not the government, knew best how to apply the money.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Neurology results

Well, I had my appointment with the neurologist this morning to go over the test results. He called it "profound sensory and motor nerve loss" in the lower legs. No duh. He also said it's got to be more than just atrophy from the ICU stay, that should've shown more improvement by now than it has. Indications are an autoimmune response, basically my immune system got triggered by something during the hospital stay and hasn't backed off, and it's attacking the nerves themselves (eg. CIDP). He's going to recommend IVIG therapy, and see if the insurance will approve it. I'm hoping they do, the side effects there are fairly mild. The alternatives are some fairly nasty drugs like prednisone, whose side-effects give face-huggers nightmares. So, more blood tests next week and we'll see what the insurance says.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer still?

Looks like it's trying to still be summer, despite being the end of September. It's in the mid-90s here and looks to be getting a bit warmer this afternoon. We've been on the cool side most of the year, I should've been expecting a late hot spell.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

EMG/NCS results

I was in for an EMG (electromyography) test and nerve conduction study today. Preliminary results are mixed. Good news: in my left leg the nerves are talking to the muscles and the muscles are reacting, and while the right leg's not showing reaction there's no sign it's got any more neurological problems than the left. Bad news: the muscle reaction's weak (and practically non-existent in the right leg) and there's little strength and no stamina in the muscles. That isn't really uncommon, but it means recovery's going to be slow. All I can do is work on trying to move my feet around, get the muscles to start moving so they can build strength, and wait it out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I look around at the Tea Party, the birthers, the Sovereign Citizen movement, the Proposition 8 folks, and I have to wonder: Is it just me, or are we seeing more batshit-insane people these days? It's like certain folks just can't handle the idea that someone out there disagrees with them. And it's getting to the point where I just want to slap them. Faugh.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back from FanFaire


Back from FanFaire in Vegas. I'm a day late, and far later in the evening than I'd've liked. Cause: cascade failure leading to a blown coolant line. More later, I'm too tired right now.

Friday, July 30, 2010

EQ2:X: avoiding a train wreck

[Originally a note on Facebook.]

I think the EQ2:X idea's going to be a train wreck for one reason: the need for Platinum membership to get T9 combined with the one-way wall that allows movement from regular to F2P servers but not the other way. New players aren't going to level up to 80 and then decide to start over on the regular servers, not when they can't move their 80 over. And existing players are likely to migrate to F2P as new people they introduce and want to play with start there.

How to fix things? Remove the wall and apply EQ2:X to the regular servers with just a few tweaks:

  1. Remove all stat gear equal to or better than Mastercrafted gear from the SC Marketplace on the regular servers. Appearance items, fluff items, mounts, XP/AA potions, those can all stay, but gear and equipment that affects gameplay can only be bought for money on the EQ2:X servers. Race and gear-quality unlocks, extra character and bank slots also remain available.
  2. An active retail or digital-download key and standard or Station Access subscription net you Gold access with all races unlocked and all levels and content unlocked that your keys would unlock and all the character slots you'd normally be entitled to available. This would apply to both regular and EQ2:X servers. So for existing players nothing would change, except you can pony up cash for more character and bank slots if you want them.
  3. Transfers are possible between EQ2:X and regular servers. This would be in addition to the proposed one-way character-copy service, which would remain unchanged. Moving characters to an EQ2:X server would move your entire inventory including coin and items, but wouldn't move anything in the shared bank. Moving from EQ2:X to a regular server, any items bought from the SC Marketplace that aren't available at the destination would be removed from your character and destroyed.

In addition, I'd reduce the cost of character transfers from the current $35 to something like $10.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome

Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome. The neurologist keeps mentioning this. I really don't need that crap, and it doesn't seem to fit well with my symptoms, so I hope this isn't what's wrong with my feet. But I'm supposed to schedule an EMG test once the insurance clears it, the neurologist wants to make sure the EMG and NCS tests they did in the hospital didn't miss it (they might've been too early to catch it).

Why you shouldn't trust polls

The Daily Kos has been running a series of State of the Nation polls for the last year and a half. Today they announced that those polls appear to have been complete bunk, the results at least manipulated if not completely made up. This was only discovered by statistical analysis of the data about the polls and polling process the Daily Kos published along with the poll results.

Now, the polls weren't from some fly-by-night operation. Research 2000 was one of the most respected polling houses in the business. But the one thing that strikes me is that, despite that, they simply had a lousy track record at actually correctly predicting outcomes. To me it seems obvious that if the polls are being done right and are accurate then they should closely match the actual outcome, and if they don't match the outcome then the rest doesn't matter because the polls are useless for prediction. If anyone's reporting those polls knowing about their track record, they're using those polls for something other than simply tracking actual sentiment on an issue.

My advice: never trust a poll unless the data underlying it is published for independent review. And never trust a poll or the use of that poll when the polling house doesn't have a good track record of getting the outcomes right.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SOE FanFaire in Vegas

OK, FanFaire's handled. Drive up Wednesday evening, stay until either Sunday afternoon or Monday morning depending on what's going on. Dean and Lia will be going with me, so whether I can handle the gas and brakes on the car isn't an issue.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The failure of Ponzi

Everybody knows Facebook has games. One of them I've been playing is Ponzi. It's a fairly fun, fairly addictive game. The gameplay itself is simple: you set the employees of your company to doing jobs to earn money. You use the money to buy bigger offices and furnish rooms in them, and to hire more employees. You compete against your friends to see who can earn more money faster. It's fire-and-forget: once you set the jobs running you can go away and not come back until the jobs are done and you need to collect your money. Early on jobs take minutes to run, but fairly quickly you graduate to jobs that take an hour or two and then into the 5/10/15-hour jobs later in the game. So, while it's fun it's not going to eat up a lot of your time. And the competition is addictive. You start playing it, and pretty soon you're hooked and having fun. And after playing it for a few days, you'd find yourself thinking (as I did) that this is worth $10-15 easy.

And that's why it's closing down: because I'd only spend $15 on it. It's not big enough to justify my spending even $5 every month on it. And the addictive part comes from the competition with others. This game works only because it's networked. If I couldn't see how I was doing relative to my friends and interact with them in various ways (eg. send them a parade to brighten their day, or leave Mr. Dino snoozing on their lawn), it'd be dull as dirt. That networked aspect means central servers with their ongoing costs, but players aren't going to be willing to set up Yet Another Subscription and pay enough every month to be worth it.

So, R.I.P. Ponzi.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mage cloth armor

Note to game designers out there: THIS is mage armor.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Obama extends Federal benefits to same-sex couples

Obama widens the range of Federal benefits extended to same-sex partners. I'm sure the Religious Right is going to go ballistic over this. Me, I think they need to get over this nervousness about their inherent attraction to members of the same gender, loosen up and get on with more important things than trying to ban their temptations so they won't be tempted anymore.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

SOE FanFaire

I'm hoping I make FanFaire in Vegas this year. We're trying to get a bunch of our EQ2 guild together there. I've got my membership bought and my hotel room reserved, the problem will be my feet and driving. If Dean gets sent up it'll be no problem, I can have Lia drive up with me. If Dean doesn't get sent, I have to decide whether it's worth 2 round trips worth of gas. I don't want to fly up because my feet just aren't going to handle the airport/airline bullshit involved.

If I go I want to see if I can wrangle Toraneko into coming to dinner one night. Especially if Tiff and Brea make it, Tora might have fun talking renfaire shop with someone who fights with live steel (and appropriate armor).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

BP knew about DH well problems 11 months ago

Ouch. Apparently BP knew about indications there were problems with the Deepwater Horizon well up to 11 months before the incident occurred. IMO the government should simply find BP negligent in ignoring all those indications and hold them 100% liable for all costs of repair and clean-up. And then slap the industry as a whole with regulations requiring all those things that BP ignored or didn't want to do that could've prevented the blow-out, plus increased inspections and oversight. And give the inspectors the power to order the work done directly, with the company being billed for it, if the company doesn't want to do it on their own.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cleaning and dust

One thing I've noticed about the new apartment is the dust. Here there's very little, even with the doors and windows open, and it's all a light-grey dry powdery stuff. The old apartment always had lots and lots of a nasty black stuff that accumulated fast. In a week it'd be as if I hadn't cleaned at all. And this stuff wasn't dry, it was kind of oily and adhered to things so you needed soap or a cleaner to get it off (plain water just pushed it around and made a mess). I thought it was carbon from cars in the city, but down here I'm right beside a fairly major road and I'm not seeing any of it. Makes me wonder more about the building I was in.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Political wackos

You may have thought the birthers were crazy. But no, that's nowhere near as crazy as the fringes get. This is how crazy they get. Seriously, clones? I don't know what these guys are on, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to. Nor do I want anything to do with this Restore America Plan of theirs, not if it involves America being in any state they'd be comfortable in.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Voter registration change

Well, it's official. I used to consider myself a Republican, way back when. Then, as the Republican party changed, I wound up registering as non-partisan/independent. The recent antics of the Republicans and their supporters have finally convinced me: I've opposed them for years, but it's time to make that opposition official.

I'm changing my voter registration to Democrat.

If the Republicans want to know why they've lost me: go look at your own supporters, your own policies. Go look at your own screeches of outrage over how dare anyone disagree with what you want.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Deleting a Facebook account

Normally Facebook just has you deactivate your account. It still exists, all the data's there, it's just not accessible. Sounds like a bad idea to me. If I leave Facebook, I'd prefer my account really be gone, or as close to it as Facebook will allow. Unfortunately that may take jumping through some hoops:

  1. Delete all your Wall posts.
  2. Go through your photos and delete all of them, and any albums you've made.
  3. Go through your profile and clear everything out of it.
  4. Remove access to all applications you've allowed to access to. Remove them from the list entirely.
  5. Go into your account settings, Edit Friends, look on the left for Lists and select the Friends list. Remove all your friends from this list. Clear out any other lists you've got too.
  6. Wait for a week.
  7. Finally, go to which displays the real "Delete account" form. If you're truly sure you want to be gone, hit Submit.
  8. After having deleted your account, clear all cookies from your browser. Don't go back to Facebook or try to log on to it for 14 days (2 weeks).

Hopefully at this point your account is solidly deleted.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's quiet. Too quiet.

That pretty much sums it up. The place isn't quite mine yet, if that makes sense. The apartment's bigger than the old place, I'm kind of rattling around. And I haven't quite settled in yet. Everything's not quite where I'd've put it, it'll take a bit to get to where everything's natural to me. Feels weird. But I'll manage. A week or two and the place'll be mine.

Now I just need to get slippers that aren't too long that I can actually get over my heel at the same time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Aircraft DSW

Adapted from a true story by an SR-71 pilot:

Our SR-71 was on a routine training flight over California, listening to ATC chatter. Most of it was general aviation checking in, things along the lines of "Tower, Cessna Tango 195, what's my altitude and ground speed?" "Tango 195, tower. I have you at 105 knots at flight level 100.". For the uninitiated, that's 105 nautical miles per hour (about 121 mph) at 10,000 feet altitude.

Then over the radio came "Tower, this is Dusty Five Two, requesting an altitude and ground speed check. Over.". Dusty 52 was the lead element in an F/A-18 flight. We knew they were just trying to impress the civilians, F-18s have a ground speed indicator and don't need the tower to tell them that. "Dusty 52, tower. We show you at 575 knots at flight level 450." came the reply.

Just as I was about to make a remark, I heard the click of a mike being keyed and the laconic drawl of my back-seater. "Tower, this is Aspen Two Zero, requesting altitude and ground speed check please. Over.". There was a pause, and then came back "Aspen 20, tower. We have you at 1982 knots at flight level 800.". "Thank you, tower. Aspen 20 out.".

There was no more traffic from the F/A-18s.

Friday, April 23, 2010

So you need a typeface

Courtesy of Caprine on LJ: the flowchart for choosing a typeface. I have to agree about the path to Comic Sans, although the path to FF Din is amusing too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sudden rainstorm

All of a sudden we've got another rainstorm outside. This is weird, it's been a long time since we've gotten this many rainstorms this time of year. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Testing a cross-post

Let's see how Windows Live Writer works. I've got it configured to cross-post to LJ and IJ as well as posting to Jeran's Den. WLW may be from Microsoft, but it's one of the first editors I've seen that looks like it allows straightforward cross-posting of entire entries.

I've also got Live Messenger set up, now I need to collect, confirm and configure my ICQ and AIM identities. I seem to have forgotten passwords.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New coffee maker

The Keurig B40. I got the extra cup+filter that lets me use regular ground coffee in it, so I'm not limited to the pre-packaged K-cups. I've also concluded that I don't like French roast coffee. I've got the rest of the sampler pack to go through, and a couple of bags of ground coffee to hold me over until I can get whole-bean from Henry's.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Avatar and earthquake

Went to see Avatar yesterday with Dean and Lia. The previews were punctuated by an earthquake. Magnitude 7.2, centered south of El Centro. It happened right during a part of the Clash of the Titans preview that had lots of bass, so we weren't sure immediately if it was an earthquake or just the sound system.

As far as the movie, it was good. The most impressive thing is that you can't really distinguish the CGI from the live action. The CGI doesn't have the traditional CGI look, it looks like live action. Of course you can't find actors 9 feet tall, and I dare you do to an ikran live, but it doesn't look computer-generated. Oh, you can spot it when the CGI and live-action characters interact, small things like skin doesn't depress like it really should when a CGI character touches a live actor, but you have to look really really close to spot it. And as Dean said, if you're looking that closely for flaws you're missing the point of watching this movie.

I did notice a lot of parallels with Aliens beyond just having Sigourney Weaver in it. Selfridge is an awful lot like Carter Burke. Trudy Chacon reminds me, both physically and personality-wise, of Pfc. Vasquez. Jake Sully reminds me a lot of Cpl. Hicks. I shouldn't be surprised considering who directed both. It works, though.

One thing you'll notice is that the avatars really do resemble their actors. Much of that's from the way the CGI was done. It's all motion capture, but taken to the next level. The capture uses a lot more reference points, and unlike traditional mo-cap it also includes capture of the face. And all this is used to completely drive the CGI models. The end result is CGI aliens that look and move realistically, even down to the fine movements of facial expressions. That realism is one of the things that makes the CGI work as well as it does.

All in all, I recommend seeing this movie.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day

And so it begins. Hint, guys: if you're a news site, flooding your front page entirely with April Fool's stories is not funny. It's just annoying. Yes, Slashdot, I'm looking at you. A few stories sprinkled in, that's funny. Nothing but joke stories, that's just going to make me shake my head and go elsewhere for the day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Computer assembly, done

And I'm back up. A small glitch with the monitor not wanting to work at full resolution, but that's fixed. EQ2 now runs at 35fps even in Sundered Frontier where I was getting 6-8fps on the old machine with lower-quality settings. A bit of work on Ventrilo left and transferring the last of the software, but I think I'm there.

Computer assembly

OK, here goes nothing. I've got the new machine set up software-wise, all that's left is the G15 software that I can't install until I've got the keyboard moved over. So, I'm ready to power down, shift the keyboard/mouse/monitor to the new machine, set up the spare keyboard/mouse/monitor on the old machine and bring things up. Point of no return, once I start moving the hardware I'm committed to going to the new machine. I'll still have the old one available by remote desktop, but I won't be able to game on it or anything.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New computer

I've got my new computer assembled and I'm installing software. One glitch: the SATA controller only works right in Windows in IDE emulation mode. The native AHCI drivers cause a STOP 7B as the Windows setup disk is loading drivers. Ah well.

There's a ton and a half of Windows updates to apply. And I'm having to check all of them to make sure none of the nasties slip in. Then I've got to transfer my files and settings over from the old computer, which means figuring out the tool to do that. We'll see how it goes. I don't want to lose my Firefox password database, for instance. The big one will be installing all the EQ2-related tools properly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New usable heatsink

The Cobra D984 came in. That heatsink's got enough capacity to cool my CPU, and is light enough to not crack the motherboard in a tower case. Now to get it installed, shift the drives around to clear the rear of the video card (I think I'll move them completely into the lowest bays) and I should be set to start installing Windows XP (no Windows 7 for me yet).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New computer

Blast. The heatsink I ordered for my new computer's too heavy for a tower case. It'll warp and break the motherboard. So I have to order a new one. One good thing: the one I'm ordering goes in the stock retention mount, so I can use the stock AMD heatsink temporarily to get the machine up and running and then swap in the new heatsink when it gets here. I hate crud like this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

First day back working from home

My first day back, working from home, looks to be shaping up like I expected: all day spent getting accounts working and logons logging on properly. After getting my Windows password reset my computer had to reboot after updates, and now it's getting stuck logging me on. After they get this cleared up I have to deal with issues with resetting the Unix passwords. Joy.

Friday, March 5, 2010

SOE FanFaire

Well, FanFaire is on. Location: Bally's in Las Vegas. Dates: August 5th through the 8th. Standard rooms (south tower) are at $65/night for the 3rd through the 5th and the 8th, $85/night for the 6th and 7th. Upgraded rooms in the north tower are $20/night more.

I've got my reservations for the north tower Wednesday through to Monday morning, 2 queen beds (just in case someone needs crash space).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Test results

Last week I had the comprehensive blood/urine workup that my doctor ordered done. I just got the results back. Vitamin D deficiency, mild high triglycerides and borderline anemia. Joy. The triglycerides aren't a major concern since all the other cholesterol numbers are OK, but other two need some work. Part of the vitamin D deficiency is probably because I haven't been out in the sun nearly as much as I ought to be, and I think the iron deficiency is because I've been slacking off on the multivitamin supplements I normally take. That may also explain the lethargy, come to think of it. I may need to add an iron supplement to my list too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Computer room

The computer room is basically set up and all the computer are running. Yay! I have my normal working environment back at least.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Doctor's visit

Visited my primary care physician today for the first time. Went well. I'm off the Pepcid and Lopressor, they were just carry-overs from the hospital who give them to prevent problems while you're there. I'm also tapering off the Neurontin, cutting the dose in half every 7 days over the next 4 weeks. Hopefully I won't need it anymore.

I'm also scheduled for a bunch of lab tests and a visit to a neurologist to check on the nerve weirdness in my feet. I'm hoping this won't turn up anything bad.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Moving day

We got the big stuff from the old apartment moved to the new one today, and got the furniture delivered and set up. All we've got left to move is some small stuff from the old apartment and what's at the hotel. But there's still a few glitches with the new apartment, some leaks and a missing dishwasher (appliance-company screw-up, what they delivered wasn't what the management ordered). We're not sure whether we'll start staying there tomorrow night or early in the week. We'll see how things go.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why we need health care reform

I got my bill from UCSD. This isn't the full treatment, it's just the bill from the hospital. It doesn't include any of the doctors, and it doesn't include any of the rehab at Sharp.

Total billed: roughly $348,000
Negotiated price with my HMO: $250,000

This for just a case of pneumonia run wild. If you don't have insurance, how are you ever going to pay that bill? All you can do is declare bankruptcy and leave the hospital holding the bag. This is why we need to do something about how health care is handled.

Oh, and for those who scream about how much it'd cost, let me ask you this: how much does not covering everyone cost? Do you really think that if we don't cover them they won't get sick and won't use the emergency room? No, they're going to incur those bills anyway, they'll just leave the hospital holding the bag, and the hospital will raise their prices until the people who can pay are paying enough to cover it.

Oh, my cost? I pay $250, the insurance covers everything else.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Major health disaster: killer pneumonia

Back on November 22nd I posted about my bout of flu. Well, it turned out to be a bit more major than that.

On the 23rd, I had Dean take me to the ER because of the fever. They gave me azithromycin and sent me home. On the 25th, I ended up calling 911 for an ambulance because I couldn't walk 10 feet without being out of breath and I was running a 103.something fever (104 is the point where it starts being physically dangerous). The last thing I remember is the ambulance wanting to take me to Scripps Mercy because it was closer and me insisting I had to go to UCSD Hillcrest because they were in my insurance network and my primary care physician was there, and UCSD finally saying they could take me. The next thing coherent I remember is slowly coming out of the drug-induced hallucinations on December 23rd. Yes, that really is a gap of a month.

According to others, UCSD admitted me to the ER and immediately sent me up to the ICU. The ER nurse says I was coherent and seemed OK except for the shortness of breath. 3 hours later I wasn't breathing and they were putting a ventilator tube down my throat. I was in bad enough shape that the doctors weren't giving odds on my surviving even 12 hours. Obviously they were wrong, but I definitely burned another life there. From there I spent the next 4 weeks in an induced coma and on paralytic drugs to stop me from fighting the ventilator tube, with only one break where they tried to take the ventilator tube out and had to put it right back in. The immediate cause was runaway pneumonia, but they never did figure out what was causing it. They knew it wasn't bacterial or fungal, all the cultures were coming back clean, so all they could do was throw every antiviral in the book at me and hope something stuck. I had by all accounts about 15 IVs in me most of the time. The hallucinations from this period are something I hope never to repeat.

When they finally managed to get me off the ventilator near Christmas, I amazed them by being able to talk clearly 5 minutes after the tube came out. In a whisper, sure, but normally people just aren't talking at all at this point. From there I quickly went to Sharp Rehabilitation for inpatient physical therapy. My muscles were atrophied so bad I couldn't hold a spoon, and my nerves were just as bad. I had almost no control over my legs, and pins-and-needles from the waist down. It finally took 800mg of neurontin every 6 hours to control the nerve hypersensitivity. But once PT started I amazed the therapists by how fast I recovered function. Within the first 2 weeks I'd gotten my upper body completely back and most of my lower body. The only thing I was lacking was from the ankles down.

They discharged me from Sharp on 1/18. I'm currently in a hotel waiting on my new apartment to become available (should be on 2/10). My old apartment just wasn't feasible long-term, the stairs are too steep and the bathroom's too small and not arranged well, so I had to find a more modern one. I start outpatient PT at UCSD Hillcrest Monday. Hopefully I'll make good progress there. I'm already seeing some progress. I can push down decently with my feet, and I can feel the muscles moving when I try to pull up even if the feet don't move. On Wednesday I began to be able to wiggle my toes, something I hadn't been able to do. I take these as signs the nerves are knitting slowly but surely.

So, if you've been wondering where I was, that's the story.