A few weeks ago, just as I was getting back from Dreamation, my dad had some medical complications due to a prostate puncture. He started running a fever due to infection and ended up spending several days in the hospital. Before he actually went to the hospital, he spent several days bitching about wanting to go to the hospital. The first thing you should know is that my dad is a hypochondriac of almost pathological degrees. You have to take anything he says about his own health with a large grain of salt. He's probably the only person I know who is actually happier in the hospital than out of it, mostly because he has a suspicion that we might let him die out of apathetic neglect, while the doctors and nurses are at least supposed to do something about it. Really, the person who suffers most from this is my sister Shelley, the pharmacist. She's the one who receives the endless phone calls about his medications and ends up going with him to the ER. Frankly, she must be trying to pick up brownie points for sainthood because she went through this recent set of incidents with nary a complaint. He even asked her to bring his own thermometer from home to the hospital because he didn't believe the doctors/nurses there that he no longer had a fever at one point.
I sometimes worry that I might have inherited his penchant for, if not hypochondria, then at least anxiety. It's not like I have his fear of death, quite the opposite on the grand scale of things, and I don't spend all that much time worrying in general. Fatalism is more my cup of tea. The thing is, I find I do have a lot of nightmares about anxiety-inducing situations in general. Dreams filled with nothing but stress and failure, which one could argue at least partly is just a reflection of my life. I can't help but wonder if I'll wake up one day and find the dreams have taken hold of reality. That would really be sort of terrifying considering that I sometimes think that my uncaring fatalism is my ultimate escape hatch for when things get too bad to be borne. It would be horrible to lose that in the end.
Right around this time I also managed to get my mom's car towed while over at Brian's place. This is actually the second time it's happened, though for different reasons. They have a bunch of handicapped parking spots on their street and I've now been screwed twice by them. Maybe it's just me, but I've always assumed that a handicap sign means that there's a handicap parking spot directly behind the sign. Not so in the city of Elizabeth, where each spot is designated by 2 signs, indicated the exact size of the parking space. The first time I was towed I parked in what turned out to be a non-existent. This time around, I parked in the spot correctly only to be unaware that the spot had recently been personally assigned to one specific cripple. Apparently it's possible to call dibs on your own personal handicap parking in the city. The note indicating this, of course, wasn't on the front sign. Considering it's street parking and everyone parallel parks, I didn't even see the string of digits on the back sign, even assuming I would have understood what a newly added string of digits even meant.
Getting the car out of hock was an adventure in itself unfortunately since I found out after an aborted attempt to retrieve the vehicle that it's actually registered in Connie's name. Connie, at the time, was in Florida at a friend's bachelorette party. We had to wait for her to get home and then she had to meet me there directly from the airport to get the car out. There were additional pleasant surprises like finding that the tow-yard only accepts exact change after 4pm. My previous venture there had at least let me know to bring cash along but this new cockup resulted in an an overpayment considering that this was Elizabeth and not exactly the kind of neighborhood you could go wandering around asking people to make change for you. Well, not at least if you want to actually keep any of the money you started with. $180 later, we got the car back. It wasn't the end of the crapfest however.
Since the violation was for parking in a handicap space, I ended up having to go to court a few days ago to answer for the ticket. Really, I'm only guessing that the reason the car was towed in the first place is that the handicap spot was assigned since the ticket itself lists the offense as simply being in a handicap spot. Since I had my tags up at the time, I had to believe that there was a reason for the tow and it wasn't simply some cop being an ass. I ended up spending around 2 and a half hours in the courtroom only to show the prosecutor my tag and have him dismiss the case against me, though still charging me court costs of $33. So, either I was towed and fined for wrongly parking in a newly personalized handicap spot or I ended up paying over $200 because some cop/homeowner was a dick and I'm still not sure which it is for certain. What I don't understand is the prosecutor could only assume the latter because I showed him my tags, making me wonder why I had to pay all of that for what turned out to be a completely dismissed case. That hardly seems right.
A couple weeks ago during a pretty unbelievable windstorm, my mom and grandmother went to the grocery store. My mom dropped my grandmother off at the curb and just as she was driving off, a gust of wind swept my grandmother off her feet sending her head smashing into one of those metal pillars which they use to prevent shopping carts from leaving. She knocked herself senseless and had blood streaming from her face due to a cut. Luckily, there was someone passing by who saw her in trouble and helped carry her into the store. She ended up going to the emergency room and 6 hours later she had around a half dozen stiches and a negative CAT scan. Frankly, we were beyond lucky in this. My grandmother is in her mid 80's and whacked her head so hard she ended up with two gargantuan black eyes. The fact that she didn't suffer broken bones, a major concussion, or even death was almost a miracle. She ended up staying with us for the next few days and Connie drove the kids here to be watched during the day rather than my mom going up there. That meant that I got to spend more time with Maddie and Will than I usually get to and I found the experience rather exhausting. My uncle, who usually lives with my grandmother, was back in California visiting at the time and had to cut his trip short to get back here. She spent around 5-6 days on the mend, limping and looking like a domestic violence panda, but thankfully seems better now.
My birthday was this past week, which is always a lowlight. I certainly wasn't disappointed.
I had a blood and urine test a week ago and found that I'm pretty screwed up in a few areas. I've suspected for a while that there were some problems with the humira injections and it was mostly confirmed with the testing. I'm leaking protein like the Exxon Valdez leaked oil. It's apparently a rare enough effect that it's not even listed as a known side-effect for the drug, though I did find a couple of journal articles with case studies and other humira users reporting similar things. It won't be confirmed until I get another urine analysis a month or so after halting the injections but this could cause permanent kidney damage if it goes on. Hell, it may have already caused permanent damage for all I know.
Even better, I discovered that my blood cells are chugging along like the good ship lollypop there's so much sugar in there. I'm well into the diabetic range according to the blood test but all that sugar doesn't seem to be giving the little guys any energy boost considering that I'm also anemic to boot. I've been getting flashbacks of that old mustached guy talking about 'diabeetus' in those old commercials and that's hardly a pleasure. About the only positive that came out of the blood work is that my cholesterol, god knows why, is in the normal range. You'd think I'd have at least some congealed lard chugging through my circulatory system, but it's apparently not getting ahead of itself.