Maybe it’s time …

Where the hell have I been? Mostly at home when I am not going to see doctors or am not in the hospital. Last year pretty much sucked. No need to dress up a pig with lipstick. I didn’t have COVID but I did have a pretty indecent case of pneumonia. I’m not even totally sure how I got it other than likely ingesting some vomitus in my lungs. I think I fell backward on the floor and stayed there for eight hours I managed to crawl the short distance between my kitchen and living/dining area. The door had been left open and the lady in the next apartment saw me and managed to hand me my cell phone.

The paramedics came that Wednesday morning and proceeded to intubate me. I don’t know what kind of shot they gave me but I remember only bits and pieces and shapes until I woke up that Friday night in ICU. That was one of about three extended hospital stays last year. I had surgery on my foot earlier in the year to remove a piece of infected bone. And all the while my left foot continued to worsen in its deformity.

I have what is called Charcot’s arthropathy, named after a French neurologist from the late 19th century. Called the “Father of modern neurology,” Jean-Martin Charcot researched this arthropathy known more informally as Charcot foot. The disease is one of the most misunderstood and frequently overlooked complications of diabetes, according to an abstract from a historical perspective of the disease published in, the national library of medicine.

What I find bizarre is that I was what is known as “morbidly obese” when I began having diabetic wounds on the bottom of my feet. The food in both hospitals in which I stayed was godawful, so I just wouldn’t eat it. As a result I ended up losing 40-60 pounds and now am merely obese. But I became less and less dependent on all the diabetes medicine I was on. My last two A1C readings from blood tests showed that I was actually no longer in what are high blood sugar readings for diabetes. One reading in December and another in January showed 5.1 and 5.4 respectively.

I have continued to have one diabetic wound being treated. My podiatrist says it’s no more larger than a dime. Yet it shrinks in what seems like geological time. The outside edge of my left foot is parallel with the floor. I can’t totally avoid stepping on it when I have to get out of my wheelchair. That fact could be what continues to slightly irritate the wound. I am waiting on the Department of Veterans Affairs to approve a CT Scan an orthopedic surgeon I have seen has ordered in order to determine whether attaching an external fixator to my foot to eventually put the foot back the way it belongs will help.

There are no guarantees. Some folks who have had reconstructive foot surgeries ended up with infections that required foot or below the knee amputations. A Facebook group with whom I subscribe has a lot of people who actually tired of the pain and inconvenience of Charcot and opted for the latter type of amputation. I will do all I can do to avoid amputation. I can get prosthetic legs through the VA but the entire process is something I don’t want.

So that, my friends, is why I have been absent. With all that said and now this terrible war that Vladimir “The Terrible Rooskie Asshole” put upon its Ukrainian neighbors depresses me. Being stuck in a wheelchair and having no reliable personal transportation depresses me. Hell, Will Smith slapping the dogshit out of Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars depresses me. The fact no deserving Texas team made the Final Four, well, that just pisses me off.

That said, I remind you to look at the featured picture I took in 2004 or so. Like the late Waylon Jennings sang: “Maybe it’s time we get back to the basics of love. Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys. This successful life we’re living got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys … ” Of course Waylon’s gone, as is Mickey Newbury, whom Waylon mentions later down in the lyrics. (My favorite song penned by Newbury is “Just Dropped In” (to See What Condition My Condition is in.)

Well, I sure as hell would like to go back to Luckenbach although I doubt it has any wheelchair ramps. But it’s fun looking back on the good times when not a lot of good times have been happenin’ lately. Here is to good times to come.

2020: Pick your poison

It’s been awhile.

I’ve been staying mostly in the great indoors due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Texas was mostly okay during the “stay-at-home” phase. But our s***head of a governor followed Trumpster’s lead, boot-licking all the way, opening most businesses so the president can look as if he was actually helping the economy.

Also, I have spent time in three hospitals in the last three months. This included one night at St. Luke’s at the Texas Medical Center for esophageal surgery.. Best hospital experience ever.

Back in July I had a two-fer. I noticed a big hole in my left foot and had to go to the ER at Beaumont’s Baptist Hospital. The ER had me admitted. I had debridement surgery the next day. This was a procedure in which the doctor ream the wound and clean in up good. The wound extended from my instep to the side of my foot. I had a bit of infection in my fifth toe bone so the doc shaved off the bottom of my toe. I was knocked out, thankfully.

I stayed nearly a week where I was given massive doses of IV antibiotics which would come back to haunt me. I was out of the hospital two days and I started having problems standing up. Since my weight had ballooned up to 325, I had difficulty getting off the floor. I had to call 911. Three firefighters from the local fire station came to help me but the door was locked and the firefighters had a hell of a time just getting to me. They finally got in and helped me up.

The next night I had a similar problem. I called the VA tele-nurse who told me, assessing my symptoms of difficulty standing up and remaining up, said I needed to call for an ambulance. Beaumont EMS took me to Baptist where the doctors said I needed to go to my own hospital, meaning the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Hospital in Houston. So I took a ride in an Acadian Ambulance Service unit for the 90-mile drive to Houston.

It turns out, I was having acute kidney failure, no doubt caused by the massive IV antibiotics I spoke of as well as the dye from a CT Scan back at Baptist.

Almost a month later, I still have a hole in my foot. I do receive a nurse visit three times a week. She wraps my foot after cleaning the wound and applying a collagen-type medicine. I supposedly will see a wound specialist here in Beaumont through the Choice program for which Trump claims for his own, even though it was passed and signed by President Obama.

Meanwhile, here on the Uppermost Texas Coast we stand to feel the effects of not one, but two tropical weather system.

When Tropical Depression 14 first sprung up it’s “warning cone” had a dead-center path to Sabine Pass which is in my county and partly in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. As meteorologists are quick to point out, those warning cones means the storm might go anywhere on one side or the other.

Tropical Depression 14, named Marco, is actually forecast to hit before Tropical Depression 13, which is Laura. Marco is now a hurricane while Laura is a tropical storm. You got that?

At one point the forecast track for Marco was to make landfall in the Central to Eastern Louisiana parishes. The storm is tracking on a western turn forecast to hit Central and Southwest Louisiana. That track puts us in the middle of the cone once again.

And Laura? It is predicted to land between Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Which is where I live.

Weather two tropical storms or one TS and one hurricane? That’s insane. However, there is a hope that Marco may stall out after hitting wind shear, CNN weather guy Tom Sater just said. Of course it could also meander off the coast as Tropical Storm Harvey did. Imelda, a former tropical storm, was stuck in a holding pattern in my area that produced flooding. I know I didn’t expect flooding where I live. I know it was raining like hell. But I woke up and stepped in about ankle-deep water. That wasn’t a good feeling.

I was on what was like an island during Harvey. Everywhere *flooded. But Imelda was even more insane.

So far the U.S. has had 5.6 million cases of Covid-19 which has caused more than 170,000 deaths. What more than hurricanes do we need?

Well it seems there is this asteroid that is supposed to come near the earth the day before the General Election.

Too many thugs to consider

Trump tweeted today about the “THUGS” who were looting in the Minneapolis riots over the police custodial death of George Floyd. He used language that was evocative of the 60s and 70s “Law and Order” demagogues such as George Wallace. ” … when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” for instance.

Watching a live picture of a Minneapolis police precinct burn down overnight wasn’t at all pleasant, especially the former firefighter in me. But was Trump not the right wing bastard he is, one would have to ask: Who are really the thugs there in Minnesota?

CNN reporter Omar Jiminez gets hauled away for being black while reporting
to millions live.

Was it the three Minneapolis cops who held Floyd down while white former officer Derek Chauvin used his knee to the neck of Floyd to restrain him? Floyd would die after this police action. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Officials say charges are being explored with the three other officers.

Then again, were the state troopers who came to restore order among the crowd where the chaos run rampant with the flaming precinct house and a liquor store burned the thugs when they inexplicably arrested CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew?

Jimenez, a black Latino, was arrested after politely asking state police where they should be standing and that they would do so. But during this Friday arrest around 5 a.m. local time Jimenez and his crew were handcuffed and taken into custody.

A short time ago Jimenez told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he had asked the state police officer why he was being arrested. He was told that “I don’t know man. I’m just doing his job.” Another nearby reporter, CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI supervisory special agent Josh Cambpell, who is white, was not accosted.

Finally, one is wondering whether Trump is talking about himself. Or at least is speaking as to how he wish he could be. I’m sure Trump probably thinks himself a thug. He probably doesn’t feel the word “thug” befits him even though it probably is a goal he’d like to be a real thug. I think Trump is too big a chickenshit that he could reach thugdom. That is unless he could unleash a big bomb upon his opponents.

There are simply too many thugs to go around here. Too bad they couldn’t all meet in the middle and … have tea or something. Yeah. Right.

The New 5 o’clock Follies

How long has this damned Coronavirus pandemic been happening? It seems like forever.

Trump surrounded by l-r HHS Secretary Alex Azar; Dr. Fauci, Pence, Trump, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of CDC; Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Trump takes lying to a whole new level while tens of thousands of Americans die from Covid-19.

The “highlight” of my day, and this is a facetious statement, is the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing. These are White House briefings in which infectious disease specialists give usually intelligent information while the president lies his ass off and makes ignorant and irrational outcries about the media that he hates. I call these the “Five O’Clock Follies.”

The original Five O’Clock Follies was a name given to the military briefings to the press which were given at that particular time in the Saigon Rex Hotel during the Vietnam War. Associated Press Saigon bureau chief Richard Pyle described these briefings while Saigon bureau chief during the war, described the briefings as, “the longest-playing tragicomedy in Southeast Asia’s theater of the absurd.”

While the real-life highlight of the White House briefing is given not by Trump but by Anthony Fauci, M.D., the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The 79-year-old physician is they key medical expert on the Coronavirus Task Force. That task force is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence who fills out the main players of the group. Pence’s job is apparently to stand behind Trump, bobbing his head like a Mike Pence bobblehead.

The media have equated these briefings with Trump’s political rallies which are normally part lies, part exaggeration, part innuendo and part stupidity. And these are just Trump’s roles.

Some media outlets, including CNN, have cut portions of the briefing. Many journalists have said this is more an unpaid political announcement than giving what could be helpful information to a generally fearful public. Some major news outlets, such as The New York Times, have completely avoided showing up at the White House. The Times have said that if need be they can always run a live news feed to their readers.

Here we are at 5:37 p.m. Central Daylight Time in Beaumont, Texas. Our worthless president is on TV for today’s follies. Trump is saying his same old shit. Meanwhile, the current Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is currently 41,379.

The Dems in 2020. ABT!

We are here in post-impeachment America after President Dipshit was acquitted by our corrupt U.S. Senate. The Democrat primary is under way in New Hampshire. This comes after an Iowa caucus that appears to have been run by officials who must have found liquor made from corn that would have otherwise been exported by Iowan farmers to China or some other country that our president prevented by tariffs.

There is no Democrat front-runner for the presidential nomination. That’s no surprise. At the top in no particular order is Pete Buttegieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. At the lower end of the scale is Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Tulsi Gabbard and I’m sure I’m leaving out someone.

President Grover Cleveland would out perform Donald Trump any day. The former 22nd and 24th president, Cleveland has been dead for more than a century.

The first day of early voting in Texas is February 18. I have no idea who I will vote for this time. One may assume I will vote for a Democrat, if you know me you might guess this, unless a Trump somehow ends up on the ballot. And if that happens at this late of date, one might figure the RevoluciĆ³n is here. We must for the sake of our nation vote for anyone but Trump or ABT, if you will.

My favorite candidate is Pete Buttegieg. He is young, a veteran and not a bomb-thrower. He is also gay. I’m not, although not that there is anything wrong with that. That brings pluses and minuses for him politically. If he wins the nomination, you can bet Trump will make some sort of stupid comment or give him a homophobic nickname. “Gay Peter?” Hey, that would be offensive enough. Perhaps Trump’s folks will see this and give him that handle, thus making the offensiveness of the president all that more toxic. I feel like Mayor Pete is an (not the) adult in the room.

I think behind Mayor Pete I would think Sen. Elizabeth Warren is my preferable candidate. She charts to the port side although not listing way to port like Bernie Sanders.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Bernie. I like the fire in his reasoning. He is an unapologetic democrat-socialist. But he needs to explain what that is to primary voters and will likely need to do so in the General Election.

The other candidates, all I can say is I’d take any of them over Trump. The problem is, there isn’t a lot of time left before the March 3 primary in Texas. So it has become crunch time.

In an election year as important as this one — Trump is a flesh-eating bacteria on our nation — I won’t blow off my vote as I have in the past. There is so much that I despise about the person who rules in the White House. I think he is the most authoritarian president since Nixon, though Trump is much, much worse. If he had a sense of decorum or shame, he would have resigned before being impeached, as did Nixon.

Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat elected to president after the Civil War and who won two different terms in office, was a barfly who cut his consumption of beer to a gallon when he ran for district attorney in Buffalo. He wasn’t the best person to hold the office of president but even since his death more than a century ago, Cleveland would still make a better president than idiot boy-child now in office.

I wonder if my relatives and friends who think Trump is the best thing since sliced bread will feel that way in later years, if they are afforded the chance to do so? I feel perfectly fine with my position.